Investigation against serial vehicle thief Mohammed Ansari, who was arrested by the Crime Branch earlier this month, have revealed that he would focus mostly on strongly built SUVs which could survive on tough roads in the interiors of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, and that he got maximum number of orders from these two places.
Ansari (59), a resident of Goregaon, was arrested near the Alexandria Cinema in Nagpada on May 6 this year.
Allegedly active since 2005, Ansari is believed to be behind at least 30 to 32 cases of car theft registered with various police station in Mumbai over the last several years, and the police are confident of solving many more such cases with his arrest.
On May 25, Ansari, while trying to evade arrest by the Crime Branch’s Anti Motor Vehicle Theft squad, had allegedly almost run over a police constable at the Navghar check naka in Mulund.
“Ansari’s interrogation has revealed that he was first contacted by some criminal elements in 2005 owing to his expertise as a driver. At the time, he used to make liquor runs in and out of the city, transporting illicit liquor in his taxi. Ansari soon started getting car theft jobs and started stealing cars as per order,” said a Crime Branch officer.
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The police said that after receiving an order for a particular car, mostly an SUV like a Mahindra Bolero, Ansari would prowl the city, identifying apt vehicles .
He would then single out his targets based on the spots where they were parked and the level of security at these spots.
He would then steal the cars at an appropriate time and drive them to places like Nashik of Aurangabad, where he would hand over the cars to his contact. This man, the police said, is believed to be the link between Ansari and his clients, and would arrange for the vehicle to reach their destinations.
“Ansari would get the biggest cut of the proceeds of the stolen vehicles as he incurred maximum risk. Most of the orders that he got were for SUVs and these were delivered to Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. We have found out during our investigations that SUVs are on high demand as there is a need for vehicles that can survive on the tough roads in the interiors of UP and Rajasthan,” said the officer.
According to the police they have so far recovered six cars from Ansari, which he had stolen over the past few months but had not taken them out of Maharashtra following his brush with the law on May 25. He is currently in judicial custody.