The Colaba police,which recently arrested four persons for theft at the Citywalk shoe store on July 30,said technology and teamwork helped them crack the case. They also recovered Rs 23.5 lakh in cash and goods from the accused.
Of the four accused,three allegedly robbed the store. They have been identified as Yasin Khan (32) alias Aslam Chaudhary,Rajkumar Panchal (31) and Jaikumar Prajapati (28) alias Ajay. The three were arrested by special teams formed by the police.
ACP (Colaba) Iqbal Shaikh said,We had first suspected an inside hand in the theft,but soon realised it wasnt so. Initial investigations revealed that the theft had taken place between 12.30 am and 3.30 am. We decided to get cellular phone records of all calls made in the area near the shop in that time frame and went through them on a micro level.
The police found that a historysheeter,later identified as Panchal,had made a call from the vicinity that night. He was subsequently nabbed near Churchgate station and allegedly revealed the names of his accomplices. Special teams were formed to search for the other two accused. Panchal also revealed that he was allegedly robbed of his share of the money by another friend,Rahul Desai.
Panchal was partying with his friends and spent the night after the robbery at a friends house. In the middle of the night,Desai robbed him of his share Rs 13 lakh. After we caught Panchal he said his efforts to trace Desai were in vain. We then set up a trap for him, said Shaikh.
The police found that Desai worked as a junior artiste in the film industry. He wanted to make it big in Bollywood. He had created an e-mail ID for work-related communications. We sent him an e-mail informing him of an audition and a trap was laid. We arrested him when he came for the audition and recovered the cash. A television set and a refrigerator,which he had purchased from the loot money,were also seized, said Shaikh.
Meanwhile,police teams were sent to Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand to search for the other two accused. The team which was sent to nab Khan from Jharkhand had a tough time. He lives in the interiors,which has some Naxalism. Our team had his alias of Aslam Chaudhary. We asked if someone had come from Mumbai and found that he had come recently. Soon,he was arrested, said Inspector (Crime) Sanjeevrao Mandlik.
The team sent to UP only had Prajapatis alias for identification. Our officers found that his leg was fractured and went to all doctors in his village to enquire if someone from Mumbai had come to them for treatment. A doctor told us that he had treated someone for a leg injury. We then nabbed Prajapati, said Mandlik.
The accused were then brought back to Mumbai. The police are now trying to recover other goods the accused had purchased with the loot money.