The RAK Marg police on Thursday arrested a 39-year-old man who has been on the run for the past 15 years after stealing Rs40,000 from his then employer – a textile shop owner in the Hindmata area of Dadar.
𝗧𝗵𝗲𝗳𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟳
A team of six police officers, led by assistant police inspector Mahesh Lamkhede, took up the case that was registered in 2007 when Amit Gangar reported to the police about one of his employees stealing Rs40,000. A case was registered against him under section 408 (criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to the complaint, the suspect Pravin Jadeja, 24 (at the time), was sent to Wadala to collect money from some dealers by Gangar. “However, Jadeja returned empty-handed and told Gangar that somebody stole the money when he was in a public washroom. Gangar lodged a case against Jadeja and he was immediately arrested. He was sent to judicial custody but managed to secure bail, after which he disappeared,” explained Lamkhede.
𝗔𝗰𝗰𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝗻𝗼𝘆 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘂𝗽 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗯𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁
Jadeja was repeatedly summoned by the court, but he never showed up. He went missing and apparently he also changed his location and identity. The court then termed Jadeja as wanted / absconding.
Lamkhede's team studied the case background and directed all informants in the state and neighbouring states to fish out any details about Jadeja. All the police had at this point was his name, his old residential address in Parel and some basic details that were acquired from Gangar, including the fact that he had gold caps on his front teeth. Subsequently, the police team also started scanning the government's database, voter ID list etc and zeroed in on persons named Pravin Jadeja in the 38-39 year age bracket.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗞𝘂𝘁𝗰𝗵'𝘀 𝗠𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘃𝗶: 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗲
“Using our intel and research, we found some leads that pointed to Kutch district in Gujarat. Kutch is so huge so we depended on intel, by spreading info about him. Finally, we received information that he was in Mandvi (a beach town in Kutch),” Lamkhede said.
The police compiled a list of 10-12 people in Mandvi who had the same name and fell in the age group. However, Jadeja was still not found as he had changed his name to Pravinsingh aka Pradeep Singh Jadeja. Once a textile salesman, he now worked as a vegetable vendor.
“We went there and got additional info that a man in the same age group, with the same name and gold teeth, is living in Mandvi,” Lamkhede added.
𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗽 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗶𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝘁𝘆
The police then confirmed his identity secretly, while also acquiring his contact details and location. The team made a plan to trap him with money as they didn't want him to get suspicious and flee again.
The police disguised themselves as LIC operators, called and informed him about one of his LIC policies of Rs25,000 maturing, and told him he would have to collect the amount physically from the Mumbai branch. As expected, Jadeja showed up and was arrested. He was presented in court on Friday.
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