Gang of seven arrested for chain snatchings on trains

Thieves on board: The gang, comprising both men and women, would mingle with commuters and snatch their chains.

Thieves on board: The gang, comprising both men and women, would mingle with commuters and snatch their chains.  

Thieves were travelling to Pandharpur to target pilgrims on Ashadhi Ekadashi

A gang of seven wanted for chain snatchings on board local trains was arrested on Saturday in a joint operation by the Mumbai railway police and the Solapur police.

The accused were on their way to Pandharpur to target pilgrims who would gather for Ashadhi Ekadashi, when they were intercepted.

According to the police, inquiries were first initiated to trace the accused when Harjabi Sheikh (70) registered a complaint with the Mumbai Central railway police, saying that a woman snatched her gold chain when she was getting on a local train.

The police, after studying CCTV footage of the incident and comparing it with footage of other similar offences, found that a similar method was used to rob a chain from another commuter, Alka Shankar (55), at Panvel.

“Our inquiries indicated that a group of men and women was mingling with commuters and snatching their chains on board local trains. While working on the case, we received information that the same gang was planning to target pilgrims in Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi,” senior police inspector Shailendra Dhivar of the Mumbai Central railway police said.

Solapur police alerted

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Western Zone) Purushottam Karad said the investigating team was trying to pinpoint the gang’s arrival in Mumbai through the CCTV network. However, when no concrete clues could be found, the railway police informed the Solapur police about the Pandharpur tip-off and shared CCTV footage of the accused.

The Solapur police, during random checks of vehicles on roads to Pandharpur, picked up the seven accused at Karkam near Pandharpur on Saturday.

“The accused were travelling in a four-wheeler when they were intercepted. The licence plate number indicates that the vehicle was registered in Haryana, where some of them hail from,” Mr. Dhivar said.

The seven accused — Meghsham Solanki (24), Arjun Chauhan (19), Rita Solanki (23), Rina Chauhan (25), Rashmi Chauhan (19) and Mamtakumari Chauhan (20) from Haryana, and Shashikumar Chauhan (36) from Rajasthan — were brought to Mumbai on Sunday. The chains stolen from Mumbai Central and Panvel, both snatched by Ms. Solanki, were recovered from the accused.

First thefts in Mumbai

All seven were on Monday produced in court, which remanded them in police custody till July 27.

“The accused have claimed this was the first time they committed thefts in Mumbai. We are verifying their claims,” Mr. Karad said.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 12:49:24 AM |

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