THANE: A stolen pick-up vans’s Global Positioning System (GPS) led the city police to bust a pan-India syndicate of car-lifters and detected as many as 105 cases of car-theft and seized nearly 80 four-wheelers worth Rs 3.40 crore.Perhaps, this is the first such case in the state wherein such a big racket has been busted in the recent past.
During the investigations, the police traced the jeep with the help of GPS to a godwon in Pune and seized it.“The man who purchased the vehicle was questioned who led the police to track the chain of the accused.
These vehicles have been seized from Rajastan, Karnataka, Pune and Mumbai, said Mahesh Jadhav, the investigation officer.They were being kept in the godown at Pune and later dispatched after modifications to the different destinations for sale.Out of 105 cases theft detected, 32 are from Thane city, 14 each from Navi Mumbai and Mumbai city, 12 from Palghar, 8 from Raigad, 6 each from Thane and Pune Rural, 4 each from Pune city, and Gujrat, 3 from PimpriChinchwad and one each from Nashik City and Ahmednagar the officer said.
They used to get the demand of the four-wheeler accordingly the accused used to click the pics, once they get the clearance from the buyer, they would then rob the cars,” Swamy said.After stealing the vehicle they took it to a godown in Pune, later they obtained a fake Registration Certificate (RC) book for the same from Nagaland and later changed the engine and chasis and sold it in Belgaum of Karnataka and Rajastan, Swamy added.The accused Lagu came in touch with the other accused in a theft case registered in 2014 and roped in others.The police had formed a total of five teams to trace the gang members and finally zeroed on them.The accused had special liking and demand for Bolero pickup vans as they a total of 69 Mahindra Pickup vans, 08 Mahindra Bolero SLX, one each Verna, Honda City, and Breeza was seized.
The gang ran a very systematic racket and operated in various states Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajastan and the Nagaland from the north-east region and running the racket for nearly seven years, the police said.The police said that the mastermind of the racket--Sandeep Lagu from Mumbai roped in other accused Sadique Mulla, Altaf Gokak, both from Belgaum, Karnataka, Vinit Madhiwal, resident of Mumbai, Mangilal Jhakad, Nagore, Rajastan, Ramprasad Inania, of Nagore, Rajastan, Javed aka Bablu Mukhtar Khan, Altaf Qureshi, and Mohmmad Yusuf Nayeem Khan, from Pratapgadh, Uttar Pradesh, said Madhukar Pandey, the joint commissioner of police.Pandey added during their probe they could get details of a total of 176 four-wheeler thefts and their technical details and so far they have unearthed a total of 105 theft cases and recovered a total of 80 vehicles from the arrested accused.DS Swamy, the deputy commissioner of police (zone-1) said that the police first received a complaint in December 2018 of the theft of a Mahindra Bolero Pick up from the city’s Rabodi area.
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