'Scarred' bag snatcher arrested days before getting plastic surgery at Malad

Mumbai: Dindoshi Police have arrested a history-sheeter bag snatcher, who was about to undergo a plastic surgery to remove a scar from his face, which nicknamed him 'Sameer Chira'. The accused, Sameer Mukarram Shaikh, had snatched a bag from a Goregaon-based woman outside Oberoi Mall and laid hands on 19 tolas of gold. However, he was arrested before he could go under the knife.

On December 23, when a Goregaon-based 59-year-old woman, Sarita Shinde, was about to alight from an autorickshaw, at a bus stop near Oberoi Mall in Goregaon (E), at around 6.45am, two bike-borne men rushed in and snatched Shinde’s bag. Before she could react, the bikers had fled from the scene. Shinde immediately approached Dindoshi police station and filed a complaint against the unidentified men for snatching her bag. In her complaint, she said, the bag had 19 tolas of gold, worth Rs 7.74 lakh.

Police scrutinised the CCTV camera footage installed near Oberoi Mall in a bid to trace the accused. Subsequently, they activated their network of informers to find leads on the bag snatchers. During the probe, the accused was seen with a scar on his face, who was later identified as Sameer Chira. On January 5, Dindoshi Police received a tip-off about Chira’s plan to undergo a plastic surgery at a local clinic, and a trap was laid near Malvani Gate No 8, where he was successfully caught.

Interrogation revealed that Chira had sustained a scar on his cheek with a blade when he was embroiled in a street fight a few years ago. When he saw a large amount of gold, he thought of getting rid of the scar and booked a plastic surgery. However, he was caught well before time and continues to remain a ‘scar-face’, as teased by his peers, said Dharnendra Kamble, senior inspector of Dindoshi police station.

Chira, a history-sheeter criminal, has over 20 cases of bag snatching cases registered against him at several city police stations, asserted DS Swami, deputy commissioner of police (Zone 12). He was remanded in police custody and police have recovered 14 tolas of gold from him, while the rest was given to his accomplice, said the police.

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