Mumbai: A 30-year-old man from Kolkata, who recently moved to Mumbai for work, was arrested by the police in an alleged chain-snatching incident. According to Chunabhatti police, the incident happened on October 10.
The victim, a 79-year-old woman named Usha Harishchandra Patil, was sitting outside her building – named Verwali Apartment – at around 1:30 pm. The accused, who was passing by from the nearby road, noticed the elderly woman, went near her on the pretext of asking something, and then suddenly snatched her chain (mangalsutra) and ran away.
Neighours help victim
The victim, due to her age, could not run behind the snatcher, and couldn’t even scream for help. Some of her neighbours noticed Patil struggling to get up and helped her with going to the police. The victim has been living for many years in the area, and hence several people in the locality pressured the cops into finding the culprit.
At first, the police were lost in the case as there were no CCTV cameras on the spot, or in the entire vicinity as it’s a slum area, they said. Secondly, when the incident happened, nobody except Patil saw the accused. “She has not-so-great vision, so she could help us with the accused’s identical features or characteristics which we could use to trace him. And there was nobody else who saw the accused. All we knew is he was wearing black shorts and a black t-shirt,” explained API Navnath Kale, one of the officers in the investigation team.
Police scour CCTV surveillance
The cops went through thousands of footage from at least 70 to 75 CCTV cameras in every possible way that connects to the spot of crime, including the traffic cameras. After almost looking into it for a month, they found three people – who matched the ‘black shorts- black t-shirt’ description. “We inquired with them and found the accused – who was seen walking from Sion Koliwada to Chunabhatti – in the exact attire. During the interrogation, he confessed and the reason he did, he said, was the need for immediate money,” added Kale.
The accused is identified as Priyo Bechuram Jhumra, who moved to Sion Koliwada four months ago with his uncle for labour-related work, from West Bengal. The police officials added that Jhumra was an alcoholic, and due to unemployment, he didn’t have money to buy alcohol. This was the first crime he committed – just to buy alcohol.