Roommates paid heavy price for trusting this paying guest

May 21, 2013, 07:36 IST | Vinay Dalvi

The accused, who has been arrested, would share a room at a hotel or lodging with others, gain the trust of his roommates, and then flee with their belongings

The strategy towards austere living of several visitors in high-priced Mumbai was frustrated by Shailesh Patel on more than one occasion.

The 31-year-old would join other youngsters as paying guest at various accommodations and, after winning their confidence, take off with valuables like laptops and mobile phones of the victims.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing: Shailesh Patel (31) has been arrested after stealing valuables of several of his roommates from various accommodations in the city

Patel, who has now been arrested, has cases registered against him in Nagpada, Dadar and Ghatkopar.

The accused — a resident of Vitthal Nagar, Ahmedabad – was apprehended after a complaint was registered by a person saying his roommate had fled with his laptop, cellphone and wallet from Ship Hotel, P D Mello Road, opposite Government Dental College, in January.

While investigating the case, cops had circulated the accused’s picture at a number of hotels and lodgings across the city.

“Recently, we got a call from Ship Hotel that the accused had returned to hire a room. Immediately, a team comprising constable Pawar, Tawde, Bagul and
Pisal was sent and we managed to arrest him,” said Shashikant Jadhav, sub-inspector of MRA Marg police station.

The accused has told the police that his modus operandi was to share a room at a hotel or lodging as paying guest, gain the trust of his roommates, and then flee with their belongings.

“He has owned up to committing such crimes in Ghatkopar, Dadar and Nagpada,” said Jadhav.

Patel used to tell the establishment owners that he was working with an Information Technology company, and had just arrived in the city from Ahmedabad.

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