Pune rural police arrested a notorious inter-state criminal who looted banks,mainly in fringe and rural areas of the city. Suspect Suresh Kashinath Umak (48) used different aliases in different states and underwent plastic surgery to camouflage his identity,investigators said. A native of Kamlapur in Morshi taluka of Amravati,Suresh had been staying in a plush row house in Aurangabad for the last three years. Police said Suresh had been staying in Aurangabad as Om alias Sagar Deshmukh and claimed to be an income tax officer,doctor or road contractor at various times. He is a criminal on police record since 1991.
A member of the Nankatu gang named after Nankatu,a notorious criminal from Uttar Pradesh,he is believed to have formed his own teams for looting banks in Maharashtra,Gujarat,Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. Police said he was an expert in cutting bank lockers using gas cutters. Acting on a tip-off from a local villager,Shirur police led by inspector Ashok Kshirsagar intercepted a car on July 14 at Ranjangaon Sandas. The occupants fled into sugarcane fields but cops managed to nab three persons,Pramod Ambadas Umak (36),a cousin of Suresh,Kishor Bhaurao Surhadkar (28) of Sinhanagar,Aurangabad and Vishal Balu Kshirsagar (19) of Nimgaon Daku in Ahmednagar. Their leader Suresh managed to escape. The cops recovered oxygen cylinders,gas cutters,drill machines and other equipment in a sugarcane farm. Police said the gang was planning to rob the Pune District Central Cooperative Bank in Shirur.
Police teams were sent to Amravati,Nagpur and Aurangabad in search of Suresh. Cops managed to nab him from a lodge in Nagpur on July 23. The court remanded him to police custody till July 26, said additional superintendent of police Ravindrasinh Pardeshi. Suresh identified banks and co-operative societies in fringe or rural areas where security was not strong. He admitted to looting banks in Ahmednagar,Solapur,Ratnagiri,Beed,Aurangabad,Sindhudurg,Raigad,Amravati in the last two years. He looted a few nationalised banks and attempted theft at ATMs ,including one at Jejuri. We recovered a countrymade pistol from his house, said Pardeshi.
Police suspect his involvement in over 25 bank robberies. Investigation is on to know the number of crimes he has committed and the money he looted. Police suspect it would be crores. Police said he purchased a house,vehicles and has fixed deposits in different banks in the names of persons known to him. Pune rural police had arrested him in 2003 in connection with similar crimes. He admitted to involvement in 11 banks robberies. He continued to commit crimes after being released from jail.
Additional superintendent of police Vijaykumar Magar said that in Madhya Pradesh,he operated in the name of Ashwin Joshi and Vinod Kumar. He has a diploma in electrical engineering. He used this knowledge for making security alarms in banks non-functional. The investigation team comprised assistant police inspector Amar Jagdale,constables Janardan Shelke,Sahdev Thube,Raju Momin,Kalpesh Rakhonde,Somnath Wafgaonkar,Nagargoje,Santosh Pawar,Mushtaq Khan,Giramkar Anna,Khatal,Vilas Ambekar,Popat Gaikwad,Patole,Ganesh Sutar,Shivaji Lahakar.