The Mumbai Police crime branch on Tuesday arrested four men in Kurla for allegedly selling stolen cars as new after changing their engine and chassis numbers.
Further investigations have shown that the men have been accused of atleast 20 cases of car theft in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
The arrests were made on Tuesday afternoon after Unit 8 of the crime branch received information that four men would meet near Shital Cinema in Kurla (West) to illegally change the engine number and chassis number of a Hyundai Verna car. “We laid a trap at the spot and arrested the four men. Inside the car, we found several sets of duplicate car keys,” said a crime branch officer.
The officer added that following interrogation, 14 stolen cars were seized from the possession of the accused. These had been stolen across Mumbai, in Bhayandar, Mira Road and Nerul.
“Two of the accused are wanted in atleast 20 cases of motor vehicle theft in Goregaon, Charkop, Santacruz, Govandi, Mumbra, Nerul and Bhayander,” the officer said.
While two of the arrested accused would steal the cars, the other two would scour scrap yards in Kurla for old cars. “Apart from scrap yards, they would also buy used and damaged cars from insurance companies, and at times, directly from car owners. They would spruce up the old cars, and affix number plates taken from the stolen cars. They would then change the chassis number, give the car a new coat of paint and sell them to unsuspecting buyers,” the officer said.