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Mumbai: How jewellery shop owners, cops thwarted mango burglars

Updated on: 08 May,2024 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Apoorva Agashe |

Stringent measures like police verification of the vendors and installation of CCTV cameras helped combat the burglar threat

Mumbai: How jewellery shop owners, cops thwarted mango burglars

Collaborative measure by the police and jeweller associations has put an end to this menace. Representation Pic

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Mumbai: How jewellery shop owners, cops thwarted mango burglars

The menace posed by burglars posing as mango vendors has been eradicated in recent years. Previously, individuals disguised as mango sellers, particularly from northern India, notably Jharkhand, wreaked havoc in urban and suburban areas by orchestrating a series of thefts in jewellery stores.

They employed tactics such as constructing underground tunnels or digging through walls after acquiring adjacent rental units. In response to the increasing incidents, the police devised a systematic approach to register these seasonal fruit vendors, ensuring thorough verification before leasing any shops. Additionally, stringent scrutiny is now applied to new fruit vendors before any rental agreements are finalised.

The Mumbai police and Jewellers Association collaborative measure has been effective in putting an end to this menace. The last major incident was reported in 2017 in Dindoshi. Uptil then there were a series of such cases. “The group would hire shops in March which is the start of the mango season. They would identify shops that are close to jewellery shops.  The shops were taken on rent for a three- to four-month period, Most of the dealers belonged to Jharkhand, Bihar, and West Bengal. The dealers even offered double to triple rent to the shop owners, as the agreement was made for a short period. Also, with the greed of making money in a short period, the shop owners even let go of the proper verifications of these fake dealers,” said an officer.

“This gave a free hand to the group of burglars who created havoc in Mumbai and its outskirts. In 2015 the robbers had committed a series of thefts in Mumbai and Virar and walked away with crores. Following this, stringent regulations were made to regularise the leave and license of the mango sellers in Mumbai and its adjoining areas,” said an officer from the Mumbai Crime Branch.  The police across the state then began registering all the mango suppliers The mango sellers from North India had a difficult time trying to  rent shops as the police had denied permission.

“We used to deny permissions to mango sellers from northern parts of the country, however, we now permit verifying their details and noting down their permanent address and contact details,” said an officer.  The last such case that was registered was in 2017, the Dindoshi police had registered an FIR against the burglars as they had allegedly drilled holes and robbed jewellery worth Rs 31 lakh “Over the past two years, no cases of this nature were reported.  Our night patrolling teams are vigilant and take care that no such cases occur throughout the city,” said Joint CP ( Law and Order) Satya Narayan Chowdhary.

“In 2018, the Thane police had conducted a special drive and had noted down the details of seasonal mango sellers near jewellery shops and financial complexes,” said an officer from Thane police. “We have identified pockets where there are mango sellers and we have proper vigilance throughout the areas, we also have proper verification of all seasonal fruit shop owners too,” Said DCP Zone 3, Krishnakant Upadhyay.

Meanwhile, the jewellery shop owners have also taken measures to put an end to this menace. “Almost all shops have installed CCTV cameras, and it helps the police in their investigation, we have not come across such instances since 2017, as it is a collaborative effort by the police and the shop owners,” said Kumar Jain, spokesperson, India Bullion and Jewellers Association.

Rs 31L
Value of jewellery stolen in a past case

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