Mumbai

Conman who doubled up as burglar held in Navi Mumbai

Jewellery worth ₹47.2 lakh recovered; accused lured victims with promise of a home

The Kalwa police have arrested a serial conman-cum-burglar who was wanted for a string of offences in the Thane and Navi Mumbai areas. The police have also arrested three jewellers who would allegedly buy stolen jewellery from the accused.

According to the Kalwa police, the accused has been identified as Tukaram Adsul (41), a Navi Mumbai resident. The police said he was arrested last month, and over the course of the next two weeks, they recovered part of the stolen booty and returned it to its owners on Wednesday morning.

Modus operandi

Explaining Mr. Adsul’s modus operandi, Joint Commissioner of Police Madhukar Pandey, Thane police said, “The accused would contact people claiming to be a government officer and convince them that they were eligible for a house under the Prime Minister’s or Chief Minister’s housing scheme. He would then ask them to go to government offices with documents like identity proof and residence proof. Once he had confirmed they had reached the spot, he would then go to their residences.”

Mr. Pandey said Mr. Adsul would then make sure the target’s house was unoccupied before breaking in. “In case there was someone else in the house, he would tell them their family member needed more documents, and that they needed to take the documents to him or her. Once the house was empty, he would break in and proceed to burgle it,” Mr. Pandey said.

The police initiated inquiries into the matter in the beginning of May, after three to four such cases were reported in various parts of Thane and Kalwa. The investigating team started tracking the numbers using which Mr. Adsul would contact his victims. Officers said he would only switch on his phone to contact his victims and switch it off as soon as he had burgled their houses.

“We almost nabbed Mr. Adsul once when his number became active in mid-May but he managed to escape just before we reached the spot. The next time his number became active, we were able to arrest him in Navi Mumbai while he was burgling his latest target’s house,” an officer who was part of the investigation said.

Mr. Adsul has been found to have been responsible for 37 such cases registered in 19 police stations in Thane and Navi Mumbai, including Kalwa, Mumbra, Shil Diaghar, Kapurbawdi, Kasar Wadavli, Dombivali, Manpada, Kolsewadi, Ulhasnagar, Badlapur, Ambarnath, Bhiwandi and Narpoli in the Thane Police Commissionerate, the Waliv police station under the Palghar police and Nerul, Kalamboli, CBD Belapur, Turbhe, Koparkhairane and NRI Coastal police stations in Navi Mumbai.

In safe hands

The police have recovered stolen gold jewellery worth ₹47.20 lakh from Mr. Adsul, which was returned to its owners at a function on Wednesday morning, officers said.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 7:02:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/conman-who-doubled-up-as-burglar-held-in-navi-mumbai/article24213562.ece

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