Serial railway robber's luck runs out on a bus

Published: Dec 01, 2011, 07:27 IST | Saurabh Vaktania |

Cops arrested a pickpocket who has cases filed against him at almost all WR police stations since 1993, recovered stolen goods and gold from him after he robbed a BEST commuter

Cops arrested a pickpocket who has cases filed against him at almost all WR police stations since 1993, recovered stolen goods and gold from him after he robbed a BEST commuter 
A pickpocket who has been robbing commuters on the Western Railway (WR) for close to 18 years was arrested yesterday after he flicked the wallet of a BEST passenger. The police said that Rahu Naidu (36), had several theft cases filed against him, and since he became an obvious suspect and a known name in the railway police records, he decided to shift his focus to bus travellers.

Nimble fingers: Rahu Naidu (right) was a history-sheeter and was
involved in more than 50 pick-pocketing cases on WR locals

"Naidu, who has been operating since 1993, would mainly target commuters travelling in the first class coaches on the Western line. In the railways, he has cases registered against him at almost every police station and it had become difficult for him to operate," said an officer of the Amboli police station.

Naidu's luck ran out after the police came knocking at his residence in Charkop in Kandivli (West), following a complaint by his latest victim.

On November 25, Himanshu Hazariwala (28), a resident of Raval Pada, Dahisar approached the Amboli police station, alleging that someone had stolen his wallet, and was using his credit cards to make purchases running into Rs 3 lakh.

Credit cards theft
The cops said that Hazariwala, a software engineer, was on his way to work in a BEST bus from Andheri station to Laxmi Industrial Estate on Link Road. He boarded the bus at noon to his office in Peerless Software firm. At work, he received text messages around 2 pm, informing him that his three credit cards had been used to make big purchases. When he reached into his laptop bag where he had kept his wallet, he realised it was gone. His credit cards from ICICI, Standard Chartered and HDFC banks were gone along with it. He then approached the police to file a complaint.

API Irfan Sheikh of Amboli police station said, "During investigations, we went to the shops from where the goods were purchased. The accused had bought goods from J K Jewellers, Omkar Jewellers and Milan Enterprises near Andheri subway. We identified him with the help of CCTV footage installed in one of the shops and arrested him."

The police found that Naidu was a history-sheeter and had been involved in more than 50 pick-pocketing cases in the locals on WR.

He was wanted by almost every railway police station. Sensing that robbing rail commuters had become risky, he began targeting BEST commuters, officials said.

In his new pursuit, he mainly worked the bus route between Andheri (West) to Lokhandwala. He would sell the stolen goods and make fake receipts in the name of different companies. The purchasers tended to believe him because of the receipts, the cops said.   

Police have recovered cash, music system, ACs, washing machine, refrigerator, television set, microwave oven, juicer, computer, mixer, high-end branded shoes, 10 mobiles, fake receipts, and gold coins weighing 15 gm from him. The value of the goods is estimated to be in lakhs.

"The accused has been charged under Sections 379 (punishment for theft) and 464 (making false documents) of the IPC," a police offer said. 

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