Cyclists in the twin-city can breathe easier. Sleuths of the Navghar police in Bhayandar have arrested a notorious thief for his involvement in a spate of bicycle theft cases in and around the region. Notably, the 50-year-old thief identified as Rajesh Vijay Chauhan alias Raju Chacha had a penchant for expensive high-speed bicycles.
Alarmed by the sudden spurt in bike theft cases in their jurisdiction, a team from the Navghar police station under the supervision of Senior Police Inspector Sampatrao Patil scanned footage captured by Close Circuit Tele-Vision (CCTV) cameras installed in the vicinity of the theft spots and the possible getaway routes.
One of the cameras had captured clear images of the suspect as he stole a bike from the parking lot of a housing society in Bhayandar (east). Armed with the photographs, the police intensified vigilance and activated their core informer network in the region. The accused who turned out to be a habitual offender, ran out of luck when police personnel identified and caught him while he was attempting one more theft.
Investigations revealed that Raju Chacha had a liking for rather expensive cycles, which he would use himself for some time before selling them out at throwaway prices. During investigations, the police learnt that the accused was jailed for committing similar thefts in western suburbs of Mumbai.
Upon his release, he did not have any money which prompted him to steal a bicycle again near Taloja jail. According to the police, the accused who is a resident of Santosh Bhawan area in Nallasopara has been booked under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code.
The police recovered 22 bicycles worth more than Rs 1.32 lakh including high-end models and brands like K-40 Cross, Gold Extreme Mountain Bikes, Hero Spring, OMG, Unirox, Adidas and Hero Miss India Gold amongst others.
While further investigations were underway, clarity eludes the fate of those who were involved in buying the stolen property. Meanwhile, the Navghar police have appealed officials from other police stations in the MBVV commissionerate area to contact them if cycle theft cases have been reported in their jurisdiction.