Mumbai

Serial conman, who was the bane of senior citizens, held

He would target morning, evening walkers

The Thane Police Crime Branch has arrested an alleged serial conman who would strike up conversations with senior citizens pretending to be their acquaintance and steal their valuables. The man is alleged to have committed at least 10 such offences in Thane in October alone.

According to officers, Crime Branch Unit I started inquiries after observing a rise in the number of complaints received about such instances in Thane and nearby areas. “We checked on the movements of repeat offenders with a history of such crimes, and zeroed in on Anil Shetty (39),” a Unit I officer said.

Mr. Shetty would allegedly visit spots frequented by senior citizens for morning or evening walks and approach them as an acquaintance. “He would drop names at random and on an average, at least one of the names would be familiar to the target, which would work in Mr. Shetty’s favour. He would then invite the targets to have tea, usually taking them to crowded tea stalls. While keeping the conversation going, he would steal money from their pockets or even chains from around their necks,” the officer said.

The other method employed by Mr. Shetty was to make the targets remove their jewellery, like chains or rings, saying it was not prudent to roam around wearing valuables as robberies were on the rise, and pretend to wrap them in his handkerchief. He would, while keeping the target focused on the conversation, slip the jewellery in his pocket and hand them his bunched up handkerchief, officers said.

“We have established his involvement in at least 10 such offences committed in Thane, Mumbra and Bhiwandi in October alone, and seized jewellery worth ₹3.44 lakh from him. Further inquiries are under way,” the officer said.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:20:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/serial-conman-who-was-the-bane-of-senior-citizens-held/article29720209.ece

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