The crime branch of the Navi Mumbai police has busted an inter-state racket of vehicle thefts and arrested five persons. The police have also recovered vehicles worth Rs 1.4 crore and claimed to have solved around 20 cases in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai, Mira-Bhayandar, Pimpri Chinchwad, Ghaziabad and Delhi.
The arrested accused are Manish Chotwiya, 47, a resident of Surat in Gujarat, Jamaluddin Shah, 45, a resident of Ghatkopar, Naushad Ansari, 44, resident of Durgapur in West Bengal, Mohammad Rashid Ali, 35, a resident of West Bengal and Sumit Jalan, a resident of Bazarhar in West Bengal. The police said that barring Chotwiya all others are motor garage mechanics.
Earlier, two members of the gang were arrested in July from Ulwe and Dombivali.
The police said the accused used to swap the chassis and engine number of the stolen vehicle with vehicles scrapped due to accidents. “They also adopted different modus operandi for stealing vehicles. Most of them were mechanics and used to break the lock easily, including computerised locks and then took them to other states,” said deputy commissioner of police (crime branch) Suresh Mengde.