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Five arrested for theft, sale of 24 mobile phones

Thursday, November 08, 2018
By Dev Kotak

Accused are history sheeters, more arrests expected

An unusual response by a mob on the street against a criminal helped the police unbox a can of worms and arrest five in connection with a series of mobile phone thefts and recover several handsets.

The detection sleuths from Pydhonie police station arrested a quintet after their role emerged in the theft and sale of two dozen phones.

The police connected the links that led them to several other accused persons after a group of people thrashed one of the key accused, Khalid Sheikh, after catching him red-handed as he tried to steal someone's phone from his pocket. The mob beat him and then brought him to the police station.

“His (Khalid's) arrest helped us nab the others and through all of them combined we have recovered 24 Android phones, collectively valued at about Rs 3 lakhs. When we interrogated Khalid, we realised that he works in a gang, so we needed to nab the others as well. When we dug through our records, there were several cases registered against him in the past for mobile phones theft. All five were arrested from BKC and have previous criminal records and most of them are of mobile phone thefts. There are some more believed to be involved and they will be arrested soon,” said an officer who did not wish to be named.

As the number of arrests in this case goes up, the recovery of phones too is expected to significantly rise.

The accused, Sheikh, Nitesh Janvalkar, Salim Sheikh, Shafiq Ansari and Qasim Bhatti, who bought the stolen devices and sold them. Bhatti runs a mobile repairing shop around Bandra-Kurla Complex and is a resident of the same area. The remaining four are unemployed and all five are between the age of 25 and 30 years and are either residents of BKC and Andheri.    

The police now plan to flash the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) numbers in order to identify who all have either lost or reported their phones as stolen and contact them for collecting the stolen property.

“The same arrested accused have another mobile theft case at LT Marg police station also, which is where the case has now been transferred. Their call detail records (CDR) will be analyzed in order to see if they are in touch with others, who could have a previous history of thefts or any criminal records to their name. They would come to the area (Pydhonie, Masjid Bunder, Mohammed Ali Road) only to steal phones,”says a police official.

Bhatti and Ansari have been remanded in judicial custody, while the other three are in the custody of LT Marg police station.

An FIR has been filed and they have been booked under Sections 379 (punishment for theft) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.  

Under the supervision of Dnyaneshwar Chavan, DCP, Zone 2, Shantilal Jadhav, ACP, Pydhonie division and leadership of Avinash Kanade, Senior Inspector, Pydhonie police station, Crime PI Vijaysingh Bhosale, detection officers API Rahul Bhandare, PSI Vikram Pawar and staff Aslam Mujawar, Shashank Chille, Sanap, Koli, Thombre and Khot the arrests were made possible in a time-bound manner, while the hunt to arrest others is on. 

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