The Mumbai Police Crime Branch busted an inter-state racket involving four people who robbed victims of their cars, cash and other valuables, and dumped the car once its fuel was over. The gang had made enough money through their activities to celebrate their ‘success’ with champagne, police said.
Their dream run, however, was cut short when a stolen car which they were driving at high speed in Nandurbar turned turtle, and they found themselves in the middle of a field, surrounded by villagers.
On July 24, the four accused had booked an Ola cab and while going through an isolated stretch in Wadala, beat up the driver. They took his mobile phone and money, and fled with the car. An FIR was registered at Wadala TT police station.
The property cell of Mumbai Crime Branch too started a parallel probe. During investigation, it came to light that several such cases of car theft had been reported from in and around Mumbai.
Senior inspector Vinayak Mer said that they had received a tip-off about one of the four accused coming to meet his family at their Mumbra residence. Accordingly, police laid a trap and arrested Ahmed Shaikh on Thursday morning, he said.
During interrogation, Shaikh told the police that soon after stealing the car, they fled to Madhya Pradesh. Once they reached Madhya Pradesh, the car ran out of diesel. They dumped it and stole an Alto. They also duped two truck drivers of Rs 30,000.
“In the Alto, they drove up to Nandurbar in Dhule. There, while going at a high speed, they smashed into a divider and the car turned turtle. The accident was so bad that it is a surprise that they came out alive.Their vehicle landed in the middle of a field. As the entire village gathered around them, the two truck drivers they had cheated earlier also reached the spot,” Mer said.
Following this, while three of the accused were handed over to Nandurbar police station, Shaikh managed to flee. He was eventually arrested by Mumbai police.
A senior officer said the accused were also involved in other cases of car theft across several states, including Haryana. “They had made so much money that they would celebrate their successes with champagne,” the officer said.