The Crime Branch of Pune police on Wednesday arrested a man on police records for allegedly stealing an Innova car using keys he had lifted almost nine months back from the reception desk of a shopping mall,after the owner had given it for valet parking.
The suspect,whom police traced to the Maharashtra-Karnataka border town of Belgaum,had stolen the keys in June last year and had made a call days later to the owner posing as a mall employee to get his address,police said.
He waited almost nine months,apparently to evade suspicion,and stole the car from a posh residential colony in Vimannagar on March 13,police said.
A complaint was registered at Vimantal police station immediately after that.
Unit IV of the crime branch got a tip-off about the car being used in Belgaum with a changed registration number. A team led by inspector Arun Walture,acting under directions from additional commissioner Anant Shinde,DCP Rajesh Bansode and ACP Vinod Satav,arrested suspect Raju Subhash Desai from Belgaum Wednesday.
Walture told Newsline,During interrogation,Desai told us he had stolen the key when the owner had left it at the reception for valet parking. Days later he made a call to the owner. He got the contact number from the tag attached to the key. He added,Desai told the owner he was calling on behalf of the mall administration and wanted to return the key and thus got his address.
Police said Desai never returned the key but kept a watch on the car. On March 13,when got a chance,he fled with the car and went to Belgaum. He prepared fake registration papers and has been using the car since.
Police said Desai has nine offences of theft and house break-ins registered against him mostly in Kolhapur.