Mumbai: Two held in interstate Zoom Car theft racket

The Powai Police busted an interstate gang that stole vehicles from Zoom Car company, which rents vehicles and then either sold it off or used it in other crimes. The accused had used different bogus SIM cards and made advance payments from other people's electronic wallet, to avert identification. Police have seized six cars and suspect more accused could be involved.

A field executive from Zoom Cars had approached Powai Police on November 3, stating that a man has stolen their car, KA-03-AF-0788 and had also turned off the GPS, which could ascertain the car's location. Acting on this information, police sought the car booking details and learnt that the car was booked in the name of Ashok Kurian, who was not remotely associated with the crime. Moreover, as per the company policy, the person who has booked the vehicle has to upload five selfies with the car for security purposes, which helped police with the accused person's photograph.

Based on this information, police circulated the photo and learnt that the vehicle was booked to go to Rajasthan. Accordingly, police kept an eye out for the next booking made for Rajasthan and matched the images sent on the app, following which police arrested the duo-- Jagdish Bishnoi, 23 and Mahendra Godara 19, both working as cylinder gas delivery agents in Navi Mumbai on December 27.

During the probe the duo revealed that they had sold the car in Rajasthan and a police team was sent to Jodhpur along with the duo to recover the vehicle. Further investigation revealed that the duo had previously duped the company and stolen five other cars rented from Zoom Cars at Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat as well. The accused had brought bogus SIM cards and made payments from e-wallet of other people, bribing them of a thousand rupees to avert identification.

"During lockdown, the duo had rented a Zoom Car and went to Rajasthan and then turned off the GPS to block location tagging and then changed the colour, vehicle number and specifics, which was then sold off to other people for half the price. After the state borders were opened for public amid lockdown, they began renting these vehicles from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, wherein these cars were used to commit other crimes as well," said Dr. Maheshwar Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 10).

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal