It’s business as usual for these cat burglars

Crime Branch nabs two, recovers goods worth lakhs

The ongoing national lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus may have dented the crime rate, but some criminals continue to indulge in their shenanigans. The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has arrested two cat burglars so adept at their jobs that they allegedly cleaned out the ground floor of houses in slum pockets even as the people living there were sleeping on the mezzanine floor.

Crime Branch officers said Salman Shaikh (21) and Irfan Shaikh (19) were picked up from near the Bandra end of the Bandra Worli Sea Link on Thursday morning, after police constable Sachin Raut with the Unit IX received a tip-off that the two would be there.

A team supervised by senior police inspector Mahesh Desai and led by police sub inspector Vijayendra Ambavade laid a trap and intercepted both of them. They were taken to the Unit IX office for questioning, where they allegedly confessed to burgling three houses in the Nargis Dutt Nagar slums in Bandra just five hours earlier.

Irfan Shaikh

Irfan Shaikh  

A Unit IX officer said, “The accused, despite their young age, are experts at breaking into and burgling houses without making a sound.” He added, “They select ground-plus-one structures or houses high enough to have mezzanine floors, as most people prefer to sleep on the upper floor. After scoping out a target during the day, they would wait the entire night and strike in the early hours of the morning.”

Salman Shaikh

Salman Shaikh  

Based on their interrogation, the police recovered cash and valuables worth ₹2.85 lakh.

“We also checked with the Bandra police and found that the residents of one of the three burgled houses had already registered a complaint. We have handed over the accused and the valuables to the Bandra police,” the officer said.

Inquiries have revealed that the duo are repeat offenders with a history of burglary. They were externed in 2015 and 2016, officers said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:12:26 AM |

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