Mumbai Crime: Inter-state vehicle theft racket busted; seven held
According to the police, the accused confessed to have stolen 51 pickup/towing vans from Palghar, one from Kapurbawdi in neighbouring Thane city, two from Valsad in Gujarat, and another vehicle from the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
The Palghar Police claimed to have busted an inter-state four-wheeler theft racket with the arrest of seven people. The accused allegedly stole 55 vehicles, mostly pickup vans, an official said, adding that 27 vehicles worth about Rs one crore were seized from their possession.
The modus operandi of the accused was to steal vehicles, change their engine and registration numbers and sell them at a lower price, District Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh told reporters on Saturday evening.
He said there were several complaints of theft of four-wheelers in the district following which a special team was formed to probe the crime. The accused used to watch out for the vans during day time and steal the vehicles during night using duplicate keys. They then took the vehicles to a garage in Bhiwandi town where they removed the original number plates and erased the engine and chassis numbers.
These were replaced with numbers and other specifications of scrapped vehicles, the official said. The accused then sold these vehicles in the market at a lower price, Singh said.
During interrogation, the accused confessed to have stolen 51 pickup/towing vans from Palghar, one from Kapurbawdi in neighbouring Thane city, two from Valsad in Gujarat, and another vehicle from the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the official said.
In addition to this, they had stolen parts of five vehicles parked on roadsides and also committed theft of five stray cattle, he said. Total 27 vehicles worth around Rs one crore were seized from the possession of the seven accused, who were arrested on Thursday, the official said.
They were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 379 (theft), 465, 468, 471 (all for forgery) and 34 (common intention), and produced before a magistrate who remanded them in police custody till February 20, he added.
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