Cops nab teenager taking online bike sellers for a ride
19-yr-old sports bike lover would target people selling their motorcycles online; he would meet them and, on the pretext of a test ride, flee with the two-wheelers
A youth’s fascination for fancy bikes has landed him straight into the police’s hands. Yogesh Anant Raut (19), a first-year B Com student of a college in Bhiwandi, Thane was arrested on Friday by the Ulhasnagar Crime Branch for stealing motorcycles.
Raut, a sports bike fanatic, would scour classifieds websites like Olx.in and Quikr.com, and look for people wanting to sell their motorcycles. “He called up the sellers repeatedly and asked about the vehicle to gain their confidence. He would then meet them at an isolated place on the pretext of a test ride and flee with the bike,” said Milind Bharambe, additional commissioner of police, Thane Crime Branch.
“There are two cases where the accused had made away with bikes. In one case, he fled with a Yamaha R15 belonging to an Ambernath resident. The other is a Yamaha FZ belonging to a seller from Dahisar,” added Sunil Ghosalkar, assistant police inspector of Ulhasnagar Crime Branch.
The police have found several pictures of sports bikes in Raut’s mobile phone. “Both his parents are labourers and could not afford to buy him an expensive bike,” said police officers. Raut used to call up his victims from a SIM card registered in somebody else’s name.
“He would use his friend’s phone and put the SIM card in it to make the calls to avoid being traced. But we managed to identify him from his call details records,” senior police inspector Uttam Tangade told this newspaper. Police have him in their custody till November 25. He is being questioned further, since the cops suspect he may have stolen more vehicles.
A bad precedent
In a similar case MiD DAY had reported in May last year, Parvez Khan, a conman, had cheated a prospective seller by driving away with his bike after pretending to take it for a test ride. The cheat had met the owner Qayyum Khan after seeing the ad he posted on a popular e-commerce site. But Parvez made the foolish move of putting up the vehicle on sale on the same website. Seeing the ad, the police posed as a dummy customer and nabbed Parvez seven days after he stole the motorcycle.