Mumbai: RPF nabs 3 mobile phone thieves with ₹17.28L loot within 4 hours

In an incident that seems to be taken from a storyline of a movie, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) caught and handed over three thieves on April 29, within four hours after they had robbed a mobile phone shop in Kerala and escaped. They were in Mumbai and boarding a north bound long distance train from Panvel where the whole incident played out. They had stolen 28 mobile phones worth over Rs 17.28 lakh.

On Thursday, the RPF staff of Central Railway received a call about three thieves travelling in 02617 Ernakulam-Delhi after burgling a mobile phone shop in Kerala. “We were sent the photos and Aadhar card details of these suspects. We immediately formed teams hoping to catch them as the train was approaching Panvel station,” said a Central Railway official.

The train left Panvel station made halt at Kalyan station and departed. The RPF decided to closely check every seat in each coach very closely till their jurisdiction in Bhusaval. When the train was minutes away from Kasara station, one of the team saw a man whose face was similar to their one that they had received on WhatsApp. They also compared it with the Aadhar card that they had.

“We confronted this person who said his name was Sachin Hooda (21). He agreed to have committed the theft at a mobile shop in Wayanad along with two of his accomplices and were going to Delhi where they reside,” said a RPF officer. The culprit told the RPF staffs that one of his other accomplice got down at Atgaon station when the train slowed down.

The RPF formed another three member team who then alighted at Kasara station when the train slowed down. Later Hooda took them to seat number 50 in S-8 coach where he had kept his luggage that contained 18 high end expensive mobile phones of different brands and models. They further started looking for other bags with help of Hooda and found another one which contained 5 mobile phones.

Hooda didn’t know the whereabouts of his third accomplice, and so the railway police started tracing him through his phone number. “We realised that he had got down at Igatpuri and walking on some Main road. We immediately informed our colleagues from Igatpuri station and asked them to trace him,” said another CR official.

The third accomplice Suraj Sher Singh (19) also resident of Delhi, who had escaped at Igatpuri was caught, and cops found a sack bag containing 5 mobile phones. He said that he had spoken to his accomplice Durga Nepali (24) who had jumped from moving train at Atgaon. His location was traced to the jungle in the ghats of Kasara and later he too was caught.

He had injured himself after he fell while getting off the moving train and hence was taken to the government hospital in Igatpuri. Later, the first RPF team took Mangala Express and returned to Igatpuri station where all the three were arrested. They were then brought to Panvel RPF station where they confiscated 28 mobile phones worth Rs 17.28 lakh.

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