Cops outwit thief playing 'dumb'

Published: Oct 30, 2012, 06:22 IST | Vinay Dalvi |

Accused claimed he had speech and hearing impairment after being arrested for stealing Rs 1 lakh; when police took him to his village, his brother and locals punctured his pretence

A 42-year-old criminal who claimed he was deaf and mute had a miraculous ‘recovery’ when cops produced him before his brother. On October 22, Dadar Government Railway police (GRP) arrested the man – an accused in a bag-lifting case. When police officials tried interrogating him, the crook flashed a phoney letter from a municipal hospital, certifying him as deaf-mute.

“Though he was a robber, we had a soft corner for him because of his disability. We had even offered him biryani when he asked for it,” said an officer from Dadar GRP.

SILENT TREATMENT: Nagu Gulab Tayde was arrested after police found CCTV footage showing him fleeing with a woman’s bag containing over Rs 1 lakh

According to police officials, they found a suspicious person loitering near the booking window at platform number 6 on Dadar station and picked him up on October 22. The man matched the description of an individual wanted in connection with a bag-lifting case.

“On August 6, someone had run off with a bag containing Rs 1,12,100 of the victim, Vijaya Patil, when she was about to board the Chalukya Express for Satara. Patil was at the ticket window when the incident happened,” said Ravindra Dalvi, police inspector (crime), Dadar GRP.

Further invesigations revealed CCTV footage of the accused in the act. “Though this person produced a document claiming he was deaf and dumb, we knew he was the man who had fled with the cash and we wanted to recover it,” said Nitin Bobade, police inspector, Dadar GRP.

Police asked the accused his name and he promptly jotted down ‘Nandu alias Nagu Gulab Tayde, 42, Sangrampur, Buldhana’. When officials probed him about the cash, he wrote that he wanted food. Frustrated by his antics, police finally brought in an instructor who taught deaf and mute people, but he too failed to communicate with Tayde.

“Then we approached a local court and secured permission to take Tayde to Buldhana — his native village. There we managed to locate his younger brother, who is a teacher at a primary school. He and other villagers told us that Tayde has never had any speech or hearing problems,” said Bobade.

Realising that his game was up, the crook disclosed that he had kept Rs 64,200 in a drum where he stored rice. The remainder of the money he had already spent.

“We are now trying to find out whether he has carried out more such thefts, as people may have let him go out of sympathy,” said Dalvi. 

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