THE DIGHI Police have nabbed a 37-year-old imposter for allegedly robbing people by posing as a cop and squeezing “bribes” out of their pockets, citing traffic violations. The accused has been identified as Somnath Phadtare, a resident of Bhekrai Nagar, Hadapsar.
The man was nabbed on Wednesday evening after he duped a Chikhli resident to Rs 500 after he ‘caught’ the latter riding a bike without carrying ownership documents. Somnath was wearing a safari suit and black shoes – an attire widely identified with the police profession.
“He dressed and carried himself like a cop,” said a complainant. As per a complaint registered by Balaji Bande (30), he was heading towards his workplace on Alandi-Pune Road about 6.45 pm when he was intercepted by the ‘cop’ near the Dighi underpass.
“Somnath asked him to step down and demanded to see his driving licence and ownership documents of the vehicle. He produced the licence and but was not carrying the ownership documents. Somnath told him that he will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. Later, he settled for Rs 500 and allowed Bande to go,” said S S Bhujbal, Sub-Inspector investigating the case for Dighi police.
Suspecting the way he was behaving, Bande approached a police chowky he came across five minutes later. Later, the cops and Bande spotted Somnath passing by and chased him down.
The police recovered three mobile and Rs 700 cash from his possession. The officials also seized the ID documents and vehicle he used to commit the crimes.
“We checked his record. He used to work as a contract driver with a transport body in the past. He lost his job some years ago. We have found out that he has committed similar crimes in the past,” said PSI Bhujbal.