The accused chain snatcher in police custody with the police.
The accused chain snatcher in police custody with the police.
Photo by Suresh Golani

A distinctive Suzuki Burgman street scooter led to the arrest of a notorious criminal who is said to be involved in a spate of chain snatching offences in Mira Road, Kashimira and Kandivali in Mumbai.

Alarmed by the sudden rise in chain snatching incidents by bike-riding miscreants, DCP (Crime) Dr Mahesh Patil, under the supervision of MBVV Police Chief Sadanand Date, deputed Special Crime Branch from unit 1 to nab the offenders who were striking at will.

The teams activated their informer network and started scanning footage captured by closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the vicinity of the crime scene and possible getaway routes.

One of the teams led by Police Inspector Aviraj Kurhade got a major breakthrough after they learnt about the presence of a habitual offender. This offender was constantly using a high-end Suzuki Burgman street scooter to execute chain snatching cases in the region.

Based on a tipoff supported by a robust technical surveillance apparatus, the police team cross verified the CCTV footage and finally zeroed in on the suspect identified as Pradeep Somnath Banerjee (41). Pradeep, a native of Khadakpur district in West Bengal was currently staying at a tenement in Boisar.

During interrogations, the accused confessed his involvement in seven chain snatching cases. He also revealed the identity of a Bhandup-based jeweller (43) who purchased the stolen booty. The police recovered stolen gold booty worth Rs. 3.20 lakh and the scooter from the possession of the accused. He has been booked under section 392 of the IPC.

Investigations also revealed that the bike was stolen and the accused had earlier been booked under section 420 of the IPC for cheating by the Kasturba police this year. Not ruling out the involvement of the accused in other similar crimes, officials from the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police commissionerate are conducting further investigations into the case.

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