Mumbai Crime: Highway robbers wanted in over 40 cases caught by Kherwadi police

Updated: Jan 15, 2020, 07:45 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Probe started after woman was robbed on Vakola flyover last month

Representational pictures
Representational pictures

Following an intense search for a gang of four highway robbers, who looted a 37-year-old woman of valuables on the Vakola bridge on December 9, the Kherwadi police have managed to arrest them.

According to the police, one of the accused is a jewellery designer, who would melt the stolen pieces and convert them into gold sticks. Then the four would distribute the booty amongst themselves.

The arrested accused have been identified as Tahir Hussain Qasim alias Raju alias Mannu, Altab Shaha, Devaba Bhalerao and Vishwanath Bera.

"More than 40 robbery cases have been registered against Mannu, and Bera is the jewellery designer. Highway robberies are on the rise in the city. The robbers snatch the bags of commuters travelling in autos and taxis on the Western Express Highway," said a police officer from Kherwadi police station.

Another officer said, "The woman Jyoti Sakpal was travelling in a taxi on the Vakola flyover when she was robbed. Two motorcycle-borne youths were following her. When the taxi slowed down for a bit, the robbers forced the driver to stop his car. They then snatched Sakpal's bag, containing valuables, through one of the windows and fled the spot."

When Sakpal filed a complaint, a case was registered under various sections of the IPC.

"Several teams were formed and each were given specific responsibilities like scanning CCTV footage, studying call data records of the suspects and retrieving their personal details," said another officer.

Recently, the detection team of Nirmal Nagar police got a lead that Mannu was hiding in Lucknow. "We laid a trap and asked Mannu to visit Mumbai as his mother was unwell. He was arrested the moment he arrived," the officer added. Mannu's interrogation led to the arrest of his accomplice Shaha.

"Even the motorcycle the duo used in the robbery was stolen," the officer said. After committing the crime, the duo would distribute whatever cash they got among themselves and sell the valuables to Bhalerao.

"Bhalerao would sell the jewellery to Bera, who would melt the ornaments to convert it into gold sticks," the officer said.

Day in December when the woman was robbed on Vakola flyover

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