Mobile theft gang busted, three held

Three persons were arrested by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway police on Monday for running an interstate mobile phone theft racket. They were caught at Masjid Bunder station based on a tip-off.

The accused have been identified as Mukeshkumar Mahanto (39), Isthikar Sheikh (19) and Uttamkumar Vinod (21), all hailing from villages in Jharkhand. The police said the accused had been running the racket in for the past five years.

The railway police noticed a rise in reported mobile phone thefts and found that a Jharkhand-based gang was behind it. Based on the tip-off, Dadar, Kurla, and CSMT stations were alerted and three of the four accused were arrested. Eleven stolen phones worth Rs. 1,88,997 were recovered from them.

Samadhan Pawar, Deputy Commissioner of the Government Railway Police, said, “They picked pockets and stole phones from people on local and long-distance trains. They came from Jharkhand and stayed in Malad, where they would stash the stolen phones. After they stole around 50 to 100 phones, they sold them to a buyer in West Bengal.”

An officer said, “The ringleader of the operation is Mr. Mahanto. He would recruit young boys from Jharkhand every few months and bring them to Mumbai to steal for him.” Mr. Mahato has five criminal cases registered against him. He was the prime suspect in the investigation.

Phones to be returned

The railway police said, “Hundreds of mobiles were stolen by the gang. The investigation will continue in coordination with the Crime Branch and West Bengal police. The mobiles will be returned to the owners.”

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