Mumbai Crime: Husband-wife duo who robbed auto drivers at knife point finally nabbed

Mar 13, 2018, 08:48 IST | Samiullah Khan

Bonnie and Clyde or Bunty aur Babli, call them what you please, what's important is that their game is up

Nazu Ansari stands in an isolated stretch near her residence in Santosh Nagar, Malad East, close to Film City, and hails a passing autorickshaw.
Nazu Ansari stands in an isolated stretch near her residence in Santosh Nagar, Malad East, close to Film City, and hails a passing autorickshaw.

Bonnie and Clyde or Bunty aur Babli, call them what you please, what's important is that their game is up. The Dindoshi police have arrested a Malad couple for allegedly robbing autorickshaw and taxi drivers in the dead of the night. The two, who had been at this for quite sometime, were caught in the wee hours of Saturday with the help of a young auto driver they had just robbed.

According to Dindoshi police sources, the accused have been identified as Altaf Shaikh, 29, and Nazu Ansari, 28, who is said to be the brain behind this. Their luck ran out after the 20-year-old auto driver they had robbed in the wee hours of Saturday found a police patrol van and accompanied the cops to search for the two, finally finding them after three hours.

The driver stops to take the fare, but before he can leave, Altaf Shaikh, who is hiding nearby, jumps out. The two rob him at knife-point and flee from there.
The driver stops to take the fare, but before he can leave, Altaf Shaikh, who is hiding nearby, jumps out. The two rob him at knife-point and flee from there.

Sneaky modus operandi
Their modus operandi started with Ansari hailing an auto or taxi from an isolated spot and ask to be taken to Santosh Nagar in Malad East, near Film City. On reaching there, Shaikh, hiding behind parked vehicles or bushes, would jump out and rob the victim at knife-point.

An officer said, "Their trick worked more often than not, as most drivers would see a woman standing alone in a deserted stretch and agree to ply." While they seem to have operated mainly in Malad, as they were residents of Santosh Nagar, the police suspect they may have robbed auto and taxi drivers in other areas too. However, the police haven't received many complaints against them, presumably due to drivers not approaching the cops to avoid the lengthy process of registering a case, believe officers.

Wondering who he can go to for help in the middle of the night, the driver spots  a police patrol van passing by and approaches the on-duty officers.
Wondering who he can go to for help in the middle of the night, the driver spots  a police patrol van passing by and approaches the on-duty officers.

Game up
Auto driver Suryadeo Muneshwari Singh, 20, a resident of Mulund, told mid-day, "I had picked up a passenger near the domestic airport, and was on my way after dropping him in Santosh Nagar, when I saw the woman waiting for an auto. I stopped and she got in, but before I could leave, the man came from nowhere and got in too, and put a knife to my throat. They took my mobile phone worth around Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,800 cash and fled.

They ask him to sit  in the van. They search in the area, and after three hours, spot the couple at a tea stall. Illustration/ Uday Mohite
They ask him to sit  in the van. They search in the area, and after three hours, spot the couple at a tea stall. Illustration/ Uday Mohite

"For a few minutes, I was too shocked to react. Then, as I was wondering who I could approach for help, I saw a police patrol van. I went to the officers and narrated the incident to them. They asked me to sit in the van, and we started making rounds of the area, searching for the accused. Finally, I saw them at a tea stall and told the policemen, who caught the two and recovered my phone and cash from them." Another officer said, "They were produced in court, which sent them to judicial custody."

Also read: Mumbai crime: 75-year-old woman killed during suspected robbery

Rs 6,800 Value of booty they robbed from the autorickshaw driver who got them caught
03 Number of hours it took the police to find them

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