Thane: Thieves would spin coconut, rob houses on the road it would point to

Updated: Feb 04, 2018, 09:40 IST | Santosh Wagh

Navghar police arrest four of gang that performed pooja before every crime, spinning a coconut at a junction and robbing the place the fruit pointed at, and left a flower at the spot afterwards

Items recovered from the arrested burglars. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
Items recovered from the arrested burglars. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

This was quite a religious gang of burglars, if ever there was one. The Navghar police have arrested four members who used to perform pooja before every crime and leave a flower at the spot, as part of rituals, after ransacking it.

According to the police, the gang, three more members of which are still absconding, had a unique modus operandi - the burglars would go to a road junction, perform a pooja there, complete with coconut, flowers and vermilion, and then, spin the coconut there to see which road it would point to. Whichever it faced, the gang would head in that direction to burgle houses there.

Items recovered from the arrested burglars. Pics/Rajesh GuptaItems recovered from the arrested burglars. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

Pratap Bhosle, Navghar police inspector, said, "We received a tip-off about them when they were approaching the check naka, most likely to do their routine and find a new area to commit crime in. My team laid a trap and got ready for these men at the spot before they reached. Four were arrested."

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The arrested accused have been identified as Mohan alias Nirman Aarmogam Shetty, 25, Shaktiwel Nirmal, 41, Pravin Bhimrao Gaikwad, 25, and Yashwant Baban Mohite, 20. The police are searching for Ayyappa Narayan Shettiyar, Rohit Shashikant Shewale, and Himanshu.

Officers have seized four knives, two katawanis, two screwdrivers, one spring panha, four keys, two caps, and a coconut with flowers from them. According to police records, there are several cases registered against the gang at Navghar, Mulund, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai and many other places.

Akhilesh Singh, deputy commissioner of police (zone VII), said, "In their last house break-in, they'd robbed Rs 1.6 lakh. The house had been shut for many days; we found fresh flowers at the spot, and that matched with several crimes in other areas."

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