The Andheri Police have busted an autorickshaw theft gang that had stolen at least 75 auto-rickshaws since the last two years from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane areas. Two men were held in connection to auto theft and they were booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for theft.
According to police sources, a 37-year-old auto driver approached police and lodged a case of vehicle theft from Andheri-Kurla Road on the night intervening March 13 and 14. During investigation, police scrutinised the CCTV camera footage of the neighbouring areas and on the basis of technical investigation between March 9 and 16, identified an auto rickshaw used by a gang to commit the offence. The same three-wheeler was seen parked in Dindoshi area and on the basis of this Information; the police arrested two men, identified as Munnatiyaaz Shaikh, 61 and Khushnagar Khan, 37.
A sustained interrogation of the arrested duo revealed that they had exchanged a number of messages on Whatsapp, which stated that they had stolen about 70 to 75 auto rickshaws since 2019. Shaikh would take these stolen autos in a garage at Vasai, and change its registration number, engine number and chassis number, following which they would rent out the autos to other people.
Police seized material like auto-rickshaw cutting machine, chassis number, a tempo and recovered over 38 auto rickshaws, valued at ₹75.80 lakh. Police are also investigating to ascertain how many more vehicles were stolen and more recovery is likely to be made.