Rent, rob, move, repeat: How Mumbai woman made a living for 15 years

Mar 20, 2014, 06:55 IST | Shirish Vaktania

33-year-old would lease a flat, commit thefts at neighbours’ houses and, after about a year, shift to another building and do the same; she is now in police custody

A 33-year-old woman who, for the past 15 years, has been renting flats to commit thefts at neighbouring houses, then shifting with her two daughters and husband to a new place, and thus repeating the loop, has been arrested.

The accused, Kiran Mehta
The accused, Kiran Mehta; her neighbours, the Kirloskars and the Manjrekars (below), who have now lodged a complaint against her acts of theft

Police officials said that Kiran Mehta used to befriend her neighbours and then strike. Police sub-inspector (PSI) Tukaram Rathod said, “No one doubted Mehta because she used to change flats and move with her whole family, her two daughters and husband.”

Cops said cases had been registered against Mehta at Borivli, MHB and Dahisar police stations for similar offences. On Sunday, a constable identified her and brought her to the station.

When she was taken to her current residence at Mantri Tower, Dahisar, her neighbours informed the cops about thefts at their houses since the time she came to live in the society.

Mehta’s daughters study at neighbourhood schools while her husband is employed at a private firm. He was aware of her crimes and even tried to stop her, cops said, but she didn’t pay heed to him.

Mehta targeted several of her current neighbours: Anusha Manjrekar, Sheila Kirloskar and Kanchan Shah, who have registered a case against her. Cops said Mehta was going to shift again in May.

One of the complainants, Manjrekar, said, “She was well-spoken and extremely helping and we thought we got a very good neighbour. But, she was taking away several valuables in our absence. My husband is a lawyer, and she has even taken valuables from our clients.”

After a few months, Mehta duplicated the keys to the neighbours’ houses. She knew when there’d be nobody at home, and would venture in at that time and clear out the valuables. Said Shah, “I got suspicious after a silver idol went missing one day after she left my home.”

She added, “Why would anyone doubt a woman with a whole family would do such things?” PSI Rathod added, “Our patrolling team spotted Mehta and nabbed her, as she is wanted in many such cases.

She used to take loans by mortgaging stolen ornaments. We took her to her residential building, where everything was revealed and people came forward to complain. We have arrested her and she was remanded in police custody by court.”

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