How laundry bill led cops to burglar

Published: 09 November, 2011 09:59 IST | Vinay Dalvi |

Accused dropped his wallet outside the building from which he had stolen; cops found a laundry receipt in it and laid a trap to arrest him

Accused dropped his wallet outside the building from which he had stolen; cops found a laundry receipt in it and laid a trap to arrest him  
A laundry bill in a tattered wallet lying abandoned on the road led the Shivaji Park police to a 19-year-old suspected burglar involved in a series of chain snatchings, thefts and house break-ins. The wallet had slipped out of the pocket of the accused, Sudhakar Kamble, as he was running away after cleaning out a flat in Dadar recently.

On October 14, an unknown person made away with two laptops and a Nokia cell phone from the fifth floor flat of Elizabeth Dias (46) at Fernandes building, D S Babarekar Marg, Dadar (West). When a police team visited the spot for inspection, they found not a single trace of evidence and winded up the proceedings by recording the statements of the complainant and the eyewitnesses.

Cops find a laundry receipt in wallet lying outside the building where the
theft had occurred. Acting on instinct, they approach the laundry shop,
V Garment.

The laundry owner helps cops identify the name of the man in whose
initials the receipt has been made out. Subsequently, two plainclothes
policemen are stationed at the shop.

When the accused shows up to collect his laundry, the owner alerts the
cops, who arrest him immediately. Illustrations/Jishu Dev Malakar

After preliminary inquiries, cops registered a case of theft under Section 380 of the IPC, and were readying to begin the investigations.

But as the police officials were departing, a wallet lying right outside the building caught the eye of Senior Inspector Suresh Unaine of Shivaji Park police station.

"Initially, we thought someone must have accidentally dropped the wallet and we started asking the neighbours about it. When no one from the building came forward to claim it, we presumed it could be a lead in our case," said Babasaheb Nikam, police sub-inspector.

On opening the wallet, cops found a receipt of V Garment laundry shop located in Naigaon in Dadar. The receipt was made out in the name of 'SK', so cops only had the initials to work with. But they decided to see where the trail led them and paid a visit to the laundry.

A clean job: The V Garment laundry shop in Dadar from where the
accused was arrested. Pic/Atul Kamble

Said Nikam, "After we enquired of the owner about the bill, he readily agreed that it was issued from his shop. He further revealed that the particular bill number was issued in the name of Sudhakar Kamble, who preferred all his bills to be in his initials."

Since the laundry owner had not maintained the accused's address, the police officers asked him to tip them off them when Kamble next visited his shop. Meanwhile, two constables in plainclothes were posted outside his shop.

On Monday, Kamble arrived at the shop to collect his clothes, and as per the plan, the laundry owner alerted the police, who arrested Kamble immediately.  They also recovered the laptops and the mobile from Kamble.

Refusing to divulge his name, the laundry owner said, "The policemen had come to me seeking help in tracing the accused. I cooperated with them throughout the investigation."

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