Monkeys in Borivli steal smartphones, gadgets, drive residents crazy

Updated: Sep 24, 2014, 09:33 IST | Shirish Vaktania

So adept are the primate trio at sneaking away with smartphones, gadgets, wallets and food that the residents are convinced they have been trained in thievery

Not even in her wildest dreams had Borivli housewife Ragini Sunil Shah imagined that she would find herself at a police station, trying to convince disbelieving officials that her new smartphone had been stolen from her house by a monkey.

Illustrations/Amit Bandre
Illustrations/Amit Bandre

Various pockets of the city have found themselves terror-ised by monkeys, but if residents of Krishna Nagari in Borivli are to be believed, the primates that are making th-em go bananas are the Houdinis of the monkey world.

Given the slightest opportunity, in the form of a window left ajar or a moment of inattention, the monkeys sneak in, pick up the smartphone, wallet or some gadget lying around in the house, and scamper off with nary a sound. The situation is so bad that the residents are convinced that the monkeys have been trained in the art of thievery.

Residents of Krishna Nagari and Sangita building, near platform number 8 on the west side of Borivli station, first noticed the three monkeys in their area three months ago, blissfully unaware that the primate trio would soon become the bane of their existence.

In a sign of their intelligence, the monkeys kept a low profile initially, testing the waters and the repercussions of their actions by stealing foodstuff. As time passed, they grew bolder and began to expand their range to include electronic gadgets, smartphones and wallets.

Ragini Sunil Shah, who registered a complaint with the Borivli police on Saturday, said, “Last Monday, one of the monkeys came to our house through the balcony and stole my smartphone which was kept near the window. I noticed him just as he was running away and tried to snatch my phone from it, but it managed to escape. The phone was given to me by my husband just a few months ago.”

Bharat Shah, another resident, said, “The monkeys enter my house regularly from the balcony, as there are no grills there. They steal and eat our food, and the way they go about it makes me suspect that the monkeys have been trained to commit thefts. A purse was also stolen but, thankfully, it was empty. Many of my neighbours say that electronic items have been stolen from them and now we are all forced to keep our doors and windows at all times.”

A resident added, “The monkeys are really smart. If they don’t find food lying around, they open the fridge. Rice, dal, vegetables, fruits… they take everything they can find. There are many trees in the society and they are thriving because of that.”

“When I went to register the complaint about my stolen cellphone, I was initially told that registering an FIR was a lengthy process and I would have to spend money for it. When I told them the thief was a monkey, they said they couldn’t register a case aga-inst an animal and I sho-uld approach the forest department,” said Ragini Shah.

PSI Padvadkar of the Borivli police station said, “We registered the complaint about the missing cellphone and also informed the beat officer of the area. We will conduct a meeting with the residents and ask them about their problems. We will also ask the forest department for help and take strict action.”

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