Beware Mumbaikars! You could be robbed in a share auto-rickshaw

Updated: Mar 14, 2019, 22:42 IST | Faizan Khan

The gang arrested by Andheri Police has several cases against them, not only in Mumbai but across Maharashtra, Delhi, Ajmer and Surat.

Beware Mumbaikars! You could be robbed in a share auto-rickshaw
Representational image

Be careful while boarding a share auto especially outside railway stations as you could be robbed unaware. A gang has been arrested by Andheri Police along with an auto driver and three of his associates who posed as co-passengers.

The gang arrested by Andheri Police has several cases against them, not only in Mumbai but across Maharashtra, Delhi, Ajmer and Surat.

On 9th of March, 55-year-old Sharad Krishna Kadam walked out of a private hotel in Andheri east and boarded a sharing auto rickshaw where two co-passengers were already seated in the auto.

Within five hundred metres, another co-passenger stopped the auto and seated himself next to the auto driver as the fourth passenger. In another hundred metres, the fourth passenger told the auto driver that he is not comfortable as the auto was tilting on his side. So, the driver asked him to sit on the back seat and requested other co-passengers to cooperate.

He was moved to the back seat and was sitting on the lap of victim Kadam. Kadam was also holding a bag which had cash around Rs 35 thousand. Kadam was unaware that cash had been stolen from his bag by the other co-passengers.

Once he got down at Sahar road, he paid Rs 10 to auto driver and moved on. After a few minutes, the victim felt the need of some cash and opened his bag and was surprised to see that the cash is missing. He immediately started searching for the auto but to no avail. Later, the victim went to Andheri Police Station to lodge an FIR.

According to the police, this is the first time such an incident was reported to them and the search was launched for the auto driver with the help of CCTV footages immediately. Meanwhile, the constable Siraj Mujawar got a tip-off from his sources and the team led by crime PI Rajesh Padve, detection officer Anil Gaikwad and the team of Andheri mobile 1 was dispatched to the location. Within 10 hours of registering the FIR, the auto was tracked near Gokhale bridge connecting Andheri east and west.

The four accused have been identified as Afzal Sheikh, 24, Mohammed Sabir Ismail Malik,20, both of whom are residents of Goregaon, Naeem Saeed Malik, 27, Nizamuddin Malik, 30, residents of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. Mohammed Sabir was the auto driver and has a criminal background in a theft case and other three accused were playing the role of co-passengers.

After their arrest in Andheri, the cops started collecting details of similar cases and came to know that there are such cases reported in Borivli, Kandivali, Dahisar, Vasai, Virar, Palghar, Dahanu, Nalasopara where the same modus operandi has been used by auto drivers to cheat commuters.

Two cases have been registered in Pune, one in Aurangabad. Not only in Maharashtra but the accused have used similar means in Surat, Ajmer and Delhi where a Safari car has been used in the crime.

Senior PI Andheri Lalasaheb Shetye said, "Accused has been arrested under section 420 and 34 of Indian Penal Code. We are probing further as we suspect there are other accused also involved in the crime and operating at different locations."

Also read: Bandra resident gets Rs 12 lakh bill for parking car in society space

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