Updated: February 6, 2014 3:02:46 pm
The Mumbai police plan to felicitate a 29-year-old man, who helped foil a robbery in Colaba on January 4. His presence of mind helped the police nab a gang of five women, who were breaking into a foreign exchange shop near Leopold Cafe.
Colaba resident Mayur Kokam was heading to G T Hospital at 5.30 am on Saturday to assist a relative admitted there, when he spotted the accused walking on the pavement. “I was on my bike when I first saw the accused from a distance. From the way they were walking huddled close to each other, I felt that they were up to something. So I rode past them, took a U-turn ahead and passed them a second time. That was when I recognised one of the accused,” said Kokam, who heads a local outfit named Majha Colaba, that is involved in social activities.
The woman identified by Kokam had reportedly robbed a shop owned by his friend in Colaba, last year.
“My friend owns an antiquities shop in Colaba that had been broken into and burgled during Ramzan, last year. After scanning the CCTV footage, we found that a group of women had broken in at 4 am. Three of them were sitting outside the shop and concealing their activities with the help of dupattas. One of them had a small boy along with her. Her face was captured clearly both inside and outside the shop. I made several prints of her face and distributed them in Colaba,” he said.
Kokam said the women quickly took up positions outside the shop on Saturday. “One of them, who had a crowbar, lifted the shutter. Another woman then helped her bend the shutter a bit, while two others sat at either ends of the shutter and held a dupatta between them, screening the other women from view. The others sat in front of the shop – one was brushing her teeth, another pretended to be ill and the last behaved like she was pregnant,” he said.
Losing little time, Kokam rode to the Colaba police station and recounted what he had seen to officers on duty. Within minutes, he rushed to the spot accompanied by staff from the detection branch. “Two of the women weren’t around when we got there, but the rest were just about to enter the shop when the police caught them,” he said.
The police are at present trying to ascertain if the gang was responsible for other unsolved break-ins in the city. For Kokam, the gang’s arrest is personally very satisfying. “I had promised my friend that I would catch the accused some day. I’m glad to have kept that promise and happier to have helped the police.
The local police are planning a formal ceremony to congratulate Kokam in the coming weeks. “He has done us a great service. We will soon hold a function where the additional commissioner of police, South region, will felicitate him,” said Padmakar Juikar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Colaba Division.
Kokam’s immediate concerns are about his job prospects with the BMC. “I had applied to a low post in the Water Works Department in 2011, but failed to qualify. Another list is due to come out this month and I hope to see my name on it,” he said.
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