'Bollywood bigwig' turns out to be serial laptop thief

Jun 19, 2013, 06:24 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Accused promised youths acting jobs, asked them to bring their photos stored in laptops on the pretext of making their portfolios, and then took off with them

Mumbai is the city where thousands of dreams are realised and many more dashed every day. Small wonder then that a 36-year-old man posturing as a ‘dream merchant’ was exposed as a peddler of canards after being arrested by Dombivli Government Railway Police (GRP). The accused, Pushkar Bombare, met two engineering diploma students Dinesh Jadhav and Harshal Kadam on June 10, and promised them access to Bollywood.

Pushkar Bombare (in black t-shirt) has been accused of stealing laptops from people after promising them jobs in the film industry

“Bombare assured Jadhav and Kadam of small roles in films that would guarantee them at least Rs 5,000 a week in earnings,” said Mahesh Bagwe, senior inspector of Dombivli GRP. “The youths took the bait and gave their mobile numbers to Bombare, who continued to stay in touch with them. He called them to Dombivli station again on June 13 with their laptops that had their photographs,” said Bagwe.

The accused then took Kadam and Jadhav to Mumbai Central railway station and asked them to freshen up in the restroom. He accepted their laptops, claiming he would take them to a nearby studio and get their portfolios ready. “Bombare proceeded to flee with the victims’ bags. These contained the laptops that Kadam had borrowed from a friend,” said Bagwe.

The youths lodged a complaint with Dombivli GRP. During investigations the police also learnt that Bombare had previously cheated Aurangabad resident Rajesh Katake by promising him acting jobs in Bollywood. He took him to Thane railway station and, using the same modus operandi, took off with his laptop.

“We have recovered the three laptops and two mobiles that Bombare had stolen from the three victims. The accused has a master’s degree in Arts and was working with a mobile phone company as a customer care executive. But he turned to cheating to make some quick money,” said sub-inspector Arvind Walvi of Dombivli GRP. 

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