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A parallel RTO,run by vehicle thieves

An inter-state gang stole cars from Pune and Navi Mumbai,ran a “parallel RTO” where they forged documents and used these to sell the vehicles to customers in north Indian states.

INTER-STATE: Stolen from Pune & Navi Mumbai,sold in N India

An inter-state gang stole cars from Pune and Navi Mumbai,ran a “parallel RTO” where they forged documents and used these to sell the vehicles to customers in north Indian states.

The gang had managed to sell nearly 40 vehicles — cars,jeeps and vans — over the last year,before the racket was busted by the crime branch of the Pune police.

The crime branch has arrested three of the thieves: Ali Hussain Mohammed Sayyed and Ramjan Mukthar Shaikh,58,both of Nashik,and Jasbirsingh Dilipsingh Vilku,50,of Navi Mumbai.

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The police had arrested Sayyed in November 2008 while he was trying to steal a four-wheeler in Bhosari.

“The interrogation of Sayyed revealed that Ramjan Shaikh of Nashik was running a vehicle theft racket,with a focus on vehicles in Pune and Navi Mumbai,” said Additional Commissioner (Crime) Rajender Singh.

On Wednesday,a crime branch team led by inspector Sunil Pawar arrested Ramjan at Nashik; and soon after,a police team nabbed Jasbirsingh alias Jassi at his Navi Mumbai residence.

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From the gangsters,the police seized fake stamps and documents of various government offices,along with a “punch machine” that the suspects used for tampering the chassis numbers of stolen vehicles. Displaying the entire booty at a news conference,Deputy Commissioner (crime) Anil Kumbhare said the suspects were operating a “parallel RTO”.

The police have also recovered three four-wheelers. “The stolen vehicles were sold in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The chassis numbers were changed before transportation,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sangramsinh Nishandar.

A search has been launched for other car thieves associated with the inter-state racket

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How they worked
The thieves first tried duplicate keys. If that failed,they used magnets to break open the steering lock. They would smash the windowpane,use strong magnets to neutralise the wires at the ignition point,then start the car without a key.

CAUGHT/SEIZED
* 3 car thieves,from Nashik and Navi Mumbai
* 3 four-wheelers
* 20 fake stamps and documents of RTO,police and government offices in Thane,Navi Mumbai,Kalyan,Vadodara and other cities
* Fake registration and transfer certificate books
* Fake ration cards,school-leaving certificates
* Punch machine with numbers from 0 to 9 and letters A to Z,used for tampering with chassis numbers

First published on: 27-02-2009 at 03:03 IST
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