Mumbai: The Malad police on Monday arrested two people for their alleged involvement in several thefts of air-conditioner (AC) outlets also known as compressors in Malwani area. The main suspect was identified as Ajay Vishal Yadav, 24, who used to steal the item and later give it to a scrap dealer for selling them. The latter has been apprehended as well but his identity has been protected by the cops.
According to the police, they had received almost nine complaints of the same offence from banks, offices and other institutes in the past 1-2 months. “The places from where the suspects stole the outlets are mostly day-time offices and their AC outlets are kept at the backside of the building. Those areas aren't under the CCTV view,” said Senior Police Inspector Ravindra Adane.
During the course of investigation, the police received another complaint from the Bank of Baroda's Malwani branch on Nov 29. “We got access to the CCTV footage from all the areas where the crime had occurred, including the last complaint. Since the outlets are placed at the back end, we had to check the available footage and look for the same people frequenting the areas of thefts,” Mr Adane said. It was a tedious task to scan CCTV footage from different areas and see if any individual was present at all those places at different times, he added.
The suspect exercised extreme caution while stealing the compressors as he wouldn't disassemble them as the emanating noise might give them away. So, Yadav loosened the unit by shaking it gradually for days and sometimes even weeks. Once it was dislodged, he placed the compressor on his bike and fled. The stolen item was then handed over to another suspect, who in turn, sold it to illegal dealers.
The cost of one compressor goes up to Rs1 lakh, said the police, adding that the duo managed to steal nine units. However, the count may increase as the probe is still on. Both of them have been booked under section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code and remanded to police custody for two days.
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