As thieves turn hi-tech by devising innovative methods of cyber-crimes and online fraud, one would imagine that the age-old trick of pick-pocketing was on its way to extinction. However, the petty crime is very much alive and kicking it seems.
Sleuths of the crime branch unit attached to the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police have busted a pickpockets gang that used secret code names and operated in an extremely professional manner. Interestingly, the crime branch personnel had to pose as commuters to apprehended six members of the gang from a public transport bust in Bhayandar.
Acting on internal alert about the gang and their details, the crime branch team intensified vigilance as some of the personnel travelled in buses as routine passengers to nab the culprits who have been identified as Salim Khurshid Ahmed Shaikh (52), Ramesh Ishwarlal Solanki (58), Dilip David Das alias Dominic (60), Bhaiyya Aziz Khan alias Chand (38), Raju Abid Hussain alias Wajid (38) and Aslam Sajid Khan (52).
Explaining the modus operandi of the gang an official said that two members including Salim and Ramesh served as “Machines” which refers to the kingpins who have mastered the art of pick-pocketing while the other operatives in the bus, train or other crowded places worked as “Thekbaaz” who cornered the target and diverted their attention by pretending as fellow passengers and within a blink of the eye, the "Machine" would steal the wallet, ladies purses, handbags or mobiles before alighting at the next stop one after the another.
The gang targetted people travelling in public transport buses which remain crowded nowadays due to travel restrictions in local trains. All the accused have been handed over to the Navghar police for further investigations.
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