In what is surely a reverse situation of sorts, a vehicle thief arrested by the crime branch of Pune city police was found to have installed as many as 25 CCTV cameras at his residence in Buldhana district to keep a watch on the police knocking on his doors to arrest him. He also had five exit points in his house to escape if the search teams of police reached the spot. Police have identified the suspect as Sayyad Shakil Sayyad Yusuf, alias Don (32), a resident of Javahar Nagar, Iqbal Chowk, in Buldhana.
Police said that he used different aliases and was also a master in changing his looks. He worked as an agent in the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Buldhana, for three years, but later went on to become a high-profile vehicle thief, who was wanted by police teams from Navi Mumbai, Pune, Buldhana, Beed, Aurangabad and Jalna districts. Finally, acting on a tip-off to constable Gajanan Sonune, the crime branch of Pune city police nabbed Sayyad, along with his accomplice, Mohammed Ejaz Jalaluddin Kazi (49) of Aurangabad, from Juna Bazaar area last week. Three of his accomplices — Sayyad Imran, Abed Khan and Nazim Baig — have also been arrested from Aurangabad, police said.
In a press conference on Monday, DCP (crime) Pankaj Dahane said that Sayyad particularly stole Innovas, the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), as it has a good demand in the used vehicles market and private tourist business. Police said Sayyad had admitted to his involvement in 12 vehicle thefts cases, including a case in which an Innova was stolen from Chinchwad area and sold in Hyderabad. Police have so far recovered two Innova cars from him from Aurangabad and Hyderabad.
Senior police inspector Nitin Bhosale Patil of the crime branch said, “Sayyad is just Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) pass. He has a three-storey house in Buldhana where he lived with his second wife. His first wife stays at another place. During searches at his house in Buldhana, we found he had installed 25 CCTV cameras at strategic locations. Sitting in his house, he used to watch people coming in and out on his television screen. There are five exit points in his house. If police searching for him reached his house, he used to see the police movement on CCTV and accordingly escape from one of the exit points….. A policeman from Navi Mumbai tried to nab him, but failed. Sayyad called this policeman over phone, saying, ‘Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai,’” said Bhosale Patil.
Police have recovered different photographs of Sayyad which show how effectively he changed his looks for evading investigators. Constable Sonune actually took a house on rent near Sayyad’s residence and kept a close watch on his movements for several days with the help of two local boys and managed to get the information about his location.
Explaining his modus operandi, police said that Sayyad did online booking of private vehicles to go to places like Jalgaon and Jalna by submitting fake residential address. Then, after boarding the vehicle and travelling some distance, he would ask the driver to move out of the vehicle to buy a water bottle or food, but would ask him to keep the air conditioner on. After the driver stepped out from the vehicle, Sayyad would take control of the steering and escape from the spot with the vehicle. He used his knowledge as an RTO agent to prepare documents required to sell the vehicles.