Mumbai: two members of interstate robber gang arrested


Mumbai’s criminal branch on Tuesday arrested two members of a highway robbery gang who allegedly looted a tempo carrying Rs 69 lakh worth of cellphones in Karnataka last month and came to town to sell it. The gang members are from a nomadic tribe in Madhya Pradesh and specialize in highway robbery.

According to an officer in the criminal branch, their alleged role in three other road heists worth millions of rupees in various states became evident after the arrest of the two defendants, identified as Ritesh Kasera and Vijay Shetty.

DCP Datta Nalawade said that based on information from Senior Inspector Manish Sridhankar, a team led by Inspector Sridhar Jadhav intercepted the accused at Garodia Nagar in Ghatkopar.

Police found 25 boxes of several models of MI phones worth over Rs 69 lakhs in tempo. The duo told police the phones were purchased in the Kolar district of Karnataka.

The police then contacted the local police in Kolar and were informed of the theft of cell phones on the Mulbagal – Kolar highway on August 5.

After confirming that the cell phones in the tempo were indeed the ones that had been looted in Karnataka, police arrested the duo. An officer said a team of Karnataka police would come to the town to take charge of the accused. An officer said the role of the two arrested defendants was to dispose of the stolen goods.

Sridhankar said the gang have been involved in numerous highway robberies over the past few years. They usually receive a report from the company when a shipment of goods leaves a location. As a result, the gang members were on a wooded area along the road and stopped the vehicles. They would dominate the driver and assistants to loot phones and other property.

Sridhankar said the role of the gang has also emerged in at least three cases of a similar nature, in which shipments of goods like cigarettes and cell phones worth millions of dollars have been stolen.

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