Knocking on the window of his car, parked on Grant Road, a 12-year-old boy on Tuesday told Raj Agarwal, a chartered accountant — “uncle, there is an oil leak in your car.” A moment later, the BMW owner realised that he has been robbed of cash and a laptop worth Rs 3.98 lakh.
On Wednesday, with the arrest of four persons from Hotel Yadgar on Grant Road, the D B Marg police claimed to have busted robbers, dubbed the ‘tak-tak’ gang, who would use the boy to steal from cars that pulled over on roads. The arrests were made after Daman resident Raj Agarwal (28), lodged a complaint with the police on July 3.
Those arrested have been identified as Alimullu Shrinivas Mayanpadi (45), Armugam Algar Naikar (45), Vinod Kumar Rajendraswami and Rohit Mayanpadi (22). All hail from Delhi.
They have been booked under sections 379 (theft) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC. The boy, who was roped in by the gang in 2017, has been sent to a children’s home.
“The four had been committing similar crimes for the last four years. But for a year now, they were finding it hard to steal valuables, as local residents knew about the ‘tak-tak’ gang. So, they inducted a minor boy and used his innocence to fool the people… the gang members said ‘people would believe a 12-year-old boy instead of a 30-year-old man’,” said a police officer.
The gang members would visit the city for two days at a time and leave after targeting five to six businessmen. Its modus operandi would be to target unsuspecting motorists while their cars were parked on the roadside.
Typically, the minor would knock on the car window to get the driver’s attention. As the driver would step out, the other gang members would crouch and open the car’s front door and decamp with valuables.
“So far, we have come to know that they are wanted in more than 10 police stations in Mumbai. They also have cases registered against them in Delhi, Rajasthan, Pune, Nashik and Gujarat,” said an investigator.
“Recently, they came to Mumbai on July 2 and were scheduled to return to Delhi on July 5. During these two days, they robbed five persons in Mumbai,” said an officer.