WITH THE arrest of 15 people, the Thane police on Thursday claimed to have busted an interstate gang of robbers, aka the “Rajmahal gang”, notorious for breaking open bank safes and looting jewellery shops. The Thane police said the accused had planned to rob jewellery shops at Mira Road and Boisar in Maharashtra and another in Uttarakhand before they were picked up by the police. The police have also found their involvement in robberies at jewellery shops in Ulhasnagar, Telangana and Gujarat.
Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said, “Based on information we had, we arrested a total of 15 people. Of these, 10 are from the Rajmahal area of Jharkhand, two each from Nepal and Maharashtra and one from Uttar Pradesh. Of the 15 arrested accused, Mohammad Jamil Shaikh and Abdul Shaikh were the leaders of the gang and have multiple offences registered against them across the country.”
As per police, the Rajmahal gang is notorious for being one of the few gangs that can break open the toughest of bank locks and enter strong rooms. “They have people who specialise in various aspects of the crime. Three of them will be experts at using gas cutters through which they open safes. The Nepali members of the gang would gather intelligence about banks and jewellery shops while working at these places as security guards. The others were given the job of disposing off the stolen booty,” Singh added.
Apart from breaking open bank lockers, another modus operandi used by them is to pretend to be fruit sellers. The accused would purchase fruits from the APMC markets, take a shop next to a jewellery shop on rent and sell fruits from there. After keeping an eye on the security mechanism, they would bore a hole through the common wall the two shops share, and loot the jewellery shops. “Although they are not very educated, they are aware about security systems and take away the CCTV footage that is captured during the crime to ensure no evidence is left behind,” the Police Commissioner said.
An officer said during the questioning of the arrested accused, they confessed that other teams from Rajmahal were camping in various parts of the state in order to carry out robberies. The officer said they were sharing the intelligence with police teams of these states.