Cops hunt for family that crashes weddings to steal
CCTV captures woman, daughter and son who stole valuables worth Rs 3 lakh from a wedding hall in Chembur; cops said trio has already been booked for 10 such cases
It’s not just free grub that draws in these uninvited guests to wedding dos. They’re primarily there to swipe jewels and money. In the second reported case of a wedding-crashing family recently, cops are on the hunt for a 40-year-old woman, her teenage daughter and her younger son who have been caught on camera crashing a wedding venue and swiping a bagful of valuables worth Rs 3 lakh.
Earlier MiD DAY had reported how a six-year-old boy and his 15-year-old aide were trained by the tot’s parents to suit up and mingle among guests at a wedding before making a clean exit with all the valuables they could get their hands on.
The Chembur police have now started a manhunt for the woman and her kids who according to the cops have been visiting busy marriage venues in the eastern region of the city and fleeing with cash and jewellery. The police have asked wedding halls to only allow in guests who have invites.
They were exposed after a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera caught them making a hurried exit after the 10-year-old stole a bag at a wedding in Mansingh Chandrakant Patil’s family last week. Patil had arranged his niece Dimple’s marriage at Shagun party lawn opposite the Chembur police station.
“A lot of people were there for the ceremony. Suddenly, there was panic among the guests as one of my aunts, Lata Keshwani from Ahmedabad, lost her bag full of valuables,” said Patil, a makeup artist. “On Saturday, an unknown woman, her 10-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter were seen in the marriage hall. They were dressed well. Initially, we thought they might be the groom’s guests and did not question them. But after the bag went missing, they were also not seen anywhere,” said Patil.
When Patil and his relatives approached the Chembur police station, he was shocked to hear the police tell him that the cops had received several complaints about the trio in the recent past. “The boy stole my aunt’s bag from her side when she was having dinner and vanished. It had valuables worth Rs 3 lakh,” said Patil.
The police said the threesome has at least 10 cases registered against them in the eastern region, and has been on the run. They said the three split after entering the marriage hall and try and visit the groom’s and the bride’s rooms, where all the valuables are usually kept. They then flee with the booty and meet at a spot outside the marriage hall, cops said.
“Fortunately, they could not visit the bride’s or the groom’s room during the Patil family’s wedding, as someone or the other would always be there. But they managed to steal Keshwani’s purse from her side. We have requested all marriage halls to ask hosts to give entry only to those who have invitation cards,” said Ashish Jadhav, police sub-inspector of Chembur police station.