Mumbai Crime: Cops nab pickpocket after four back-to-back thefts
Accused tells Wadala GRP that he would park his bike near Kasaiwada area and sneak into Kurla station during the early morning hours
At a time when it's difficult to enter railway stations without valid passes, a 26-year-old youth managed to dodge the cops and snatch cell phones from passengers at Kurla and Wadala TT stations on four consecutive days last month. However, this got the Wadala GRP officers on their toes and they arrested accused Sajid Shaikh, a resident of Balyani village in Titwala, on Saturday.
As part of his modus operandi, Shaikh would reach near Kurla station on his bike, park it at Kasaiwada area and sneak into the station premises. Speaking to mid-day, senior inspector of Wadala GRP, Rajendra Pal, said, "Shaikh would target women on the platform or inside a train when there were not many people. He would enter the station early in the morning so that he could easily snatch mobile phones or chains and escape from the spot."
"The back-to-back cases had shocked us, as we had not expected this at a time when limited people are allowed to enter stations. All these incidents happened between 6:15 am and 6:45 am at Kurla and Wadala TT stations. We scanned the CCTV footage of the crime scenes and spotted a youth moving about suspiciously," Pal added.
Accused Sajid Shaikh
Pal alerted his team members and a strategy to arrest the accused was chalked out. On September 4, a couple of officers in plain clothes were deployed at both the stations.
Constable Kishore Partole said, "I was deployed at Kurla station on September 4. Around 6:30 am one of my colleagues told me that he had seen the suspect but he was going towards Kasaiwada. I started following him but soon he realised it and tried to attack me with a knife. I pulled out my belt to hit him but he escaped."
Meanwhile, one of the stolen handsets was switched on with a new SIM card in it. "We retrieved the details of the SIM card and traced it to Balyani village in Titwala. The buyer of the stolen handset gave us the name and number of the person who sold the phone to him. Then we traced the accused's number to near Kurla station," Pal said.
The suspect kept changing his location, but the GRP cops started knocking on all the doors in Kasaiwada area and eventually came across a friend of the accused.
"We went looking for him to at least 60 houses in Kasaiwada and then bumped into one of his friends," he added. Thereafter, the cops managed to arrest Shaikh from a public toilet on Saturday. Shaikh told the police that he would enter the Wadala TT station taking advantage of the porous boundary walls. The cops have recovered the knife, his motorcycle and three stolen cell phones from his possession. "He has been booked under Sections 353, 392, 379 of IPC and relevant sections of Indian Arms Act," Pal added.
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