Sunshine Story: 24 years after it was snatched, Mumbai woman gets her gold chain back

Jan 09, 2017, 07:30 IST | Anurag Kamble

She was a college student residing in Lower Parel, when a youth snatched her chain from a moving bus in the winter of 1992. This week, the woman, now aged 45, brought along her son to reclaim the chain

Manisha Lagade was robbed of the chain in 1992 when she was in college
Manisha Lagade was robbed of the chain in 1992 when she was in college

When Manisha Lagade was robbed of her gold chain in her youth in 1992, she may have put little thought in holding out hope for its return. In fact, she had even forgotten about it completely till she received a surprising call from the Mumbai police, informing her that they had managed to retrieve it: after 24 long years. And she is just one of the many beneficiaries.

Also read: 64-year-old gets her stolen chain after three months

In another case, Atish Gaikwad’s stolen chain was recovered within 4 hours
In another case, Atish Gaikwad’s stolen chain was recovered within 4 hours

On Wednesday, Zone 3 of Mumbai police returned recovered stolen property worth Rs 40.3 lakh to 47 residents. Not just that, before the deadline to exchange and deposit the old currency ran out on December 30, they even managed to recover and return Rs 39.65 lakh in 21 offences to their rightful owners.

24 years ago
When Lagade (45) spoke to mid-day, she recalled the events of that fateful day. “At the time, I was living in Lower Parel and studying in Mahim’s DG Ruparel College. One day, sometime in winter, I was returning from college when I got down from a bus and started walking home. Suddenly, when a bus was passing by, someone touched my neck, but I couldn’t make out what it was. Then a women walking towards me told me that a man on the bus had snatched my chain. I looked up and saw a young boy on the bus.”

She added, “It was the first time I had witnessed a crime and I just went numb and ran home. When I saw my brother and parents, I started crying and narrated the incident, but they were just worried about my safety. Later, we went to the NM Joshi Marg police station and registered a complaint, but there were mostly dead leads and we soon gave up hope of recovering it. Then a few days ago, I received a call from the Zone 3 office. I was confused, as I hadn’t registered any complaint, but when they reminded me of my complaint in 1992, I remembered it instantly. I took my younger son with me to receive the chain. It’s a 10 gram gold chain,” said Manisha.

Another success story
But here’s another success story on the other side of the pendulum. While it took 24 years to recover Lagade’s chain, there was another that was recovered within four hours. Atish Gaikwad, an employee in an ad agency recalls, “I was returning from a party and walking home in Mumbai Central, when I stopped to answer nature’s call. Suddenly, two boys on a bike approached me —one of them tried to snatch the chain, the other wanted my wallet. I fought back and managed to hold on to my wallet, but they managed to grab the chain. I immediately contacted the Mumbai police control room and got help immediately. And within 4 hours, the Nagpada police also caught the two thieves.”

Cops say
Explaining how Lagade’s chain came to be returned, Pravin Padwal, DCP Zone 3, said, “Her chain had been recovered a few months after it was stolen 24 years ago, but due to inaccuracies in the description, its original owner was difficult to trace. It was only six months ago that we renewed our hunt for the owner and traced it back to Lagade.”

He went on to add, “Returning of property is very lengthy process, we had started work on it in October 2016. We first shortlisted the complainants whose property we recovered. Then after we informed them about its recovery, those who got in touch with us, hired a advocate for the approvals. We then got the No Objection Certificate from the court and returned the valuables,” added Padwal.

10 gm
Weight of the gold chain that was robbed in 1992

Rs 4.3k
Value of gold in 1992 per 10 gm

Rs 40 lakh
Total value of stolen property returned to 47 complainants

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