131 stolen mobile phones recovered, seven members of gang held

Surat, Dec 1 (PTI) Seven members of a gang were arrested here on Sunday and 131 mobile phones and an iPad, collectively worth over Rs 11 lakh, which were either stolen or snatched from people, were recovered from them, police said.

The phones were stolen/snatched by the gang members from different parts of the city over the last three months, police said.

The arrest was made by the Surat crime branch.

'In the wake of rising incidents of mobile phones of autorickshaw passengers being stolen and other people's phones being snatched by motorcycle-borne criminals, the Surat police had formed a team,' a crime branch official said.

Initially, four persons were arrested from an autorikshaw for their alleged involvement in stealing mobile phones of passengers, he said.

'During their interrogation, they named one Junaid Kapadiya, a second-hand mobile phone dealer. Based on their inputs, his house was raided and 131 mobile phones and an iPad, total worth Rs 11.37 lakh, were recovered from there.

Besides, Rs 12.9 lakh cash and a cash counting machine were also recovered,' he said, adding that Junaid was arrested.

Junaid had roped in around 10 persons to steal phones, which he would buy from them and then sell them to Kasim alias Mamu, another accused from Botad, a town located around 260 kms from Surat.

'The mobile phones recovered from Junaid's house are those that were stolen or snatched over the last three months.

With today's seizure, police have cracked 16 cases registered across five police stations in the city so far,' the official said.

Six other arrested accused were identified as Azharuddin Sheikh, Sadiq Sheikh, Kalim Sheikh, Hafiz Firozkhan, Irfan Mansuri and Imran Mansuri, he said, adding further investigation was underway. PTI COR KA NP NP