Pune cops' sweeping move cracks the bizarre case of mobile toilet theft
The 10 toilets, worth Rs 1.5 lakh, had been installed at the Katraj Dehu Road bypass near Tathawade with the aim of making the area open defecation-free
The mobile toilets in Hinjewadi police's custody
Phew! What a relief! The Hinjewadi police have found the mobile toilets that had been stolen from the area last week. And they cracked the case by posing as toilet cleaners and joining civic officials in the 'clean-up'. The thief is yet to be identified though.
The 10 toilets, worth Rs 1.5 lakh, had been installed at the Katraj Dehu Road bypass near Tathawade with the aim of making the area open defecation-free. (Hinjewadi, an IT hub, falls under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation's [PCMC's] smart city project.) The theft had come to light after Yogesh Baban Phalle from PCMC's health department had found the toilets missing during an inspection of the area. On May 7, he had lodged a complaint under section 378 of the Indian Penal Code at Hinjewadi police station.
The theft had taken place on April 19, but the police had asked civic officials to search the area properly before lodging a complaint. Senior inspector Arun Waikar said, "Our officers along with PCMC's cleaning staff went on rounds. They posed as toilet cleaners and, during the search, found the stolen toilets around three kilometres from where they had been dragged away. We verified with the civic officials if these were the correct toilets and, accordingly, brought them to the police station. We will hand them over to the PCMC after completing due procedure. We are searching for the thief."
PCMC's health department executive officer Manoj Lonkar said, "Thanks to the police's consistent efforts, the toilets were found in Sonawane Wasti area, where residents had been using them. Our officials will find out if the area needs such toilets and then take a decision on installing a few there."
Number of mobile toilets that were stolen
Rs 1.5 lakh
Cost at which the toilets had been installed
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