The Government Railway Police Crime Branch arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly stealing a hand bag containing valuables worth Rs 5.4 lakh. The police said the accused, identified as Shakil Hamid Nadaf, has targeted nearly 100 women travelling in long-distance trains in the last six months.
According to the police, the accused would befriend people in trains before stealing their valuables.
Explaining his modus operandi, an officer from the GRP said: Nadaf sits next to the family he targets to rob. He then pretends to having got a call from his relative informing about the death of his family member. He shares his grief with them and gradually gets close to the family.
The accused would then steal the bag when the family fall asleep in the night. He would then alight the train, said police.
The police said they received one such complaint last week. The complainant, Dinesh Sishodiya, was travelling from Baroda to Mumbai along with his wife and elderly mother in Marusagar Express, said police.
Nadaf spotted that the complainant s wife was carrying a hand bag… so he sat next to them. He pretended to get a call and walked towards the toilet. After he returned to the seat, he told them that he lost his grandmother, said an officer.
Sishodiya offered water and snacks to Nadaf and befriended him. Later, when the family went to sleep in the night, Sishodiya noticed that the hand bag his wife had kept under her head had gone missing. She realised about the missing bag when they reached Virar, by when Nadaf had already alighted the train. Nadaf jumped off the running train. The family suspected that he stole their bag. So when they came to us, we registered a case of robbery, said an investigator.
The police then showed the pictures of history-sheeters they have arrested in the past and as soon as they identified Nadaf, a police team was sent to his address.
But he was nowhere to be found. We laid our informers near his house and immediately after he arrived at his residence in Dharavi, we got hold of him, said an investigator.
The police said they have recovered the stolen valuables from his residence in Dharavi. He didn t get the right price for the gold, due to which he didn t sell it, said an investigator.
After his arrest on Wednesday, Nadaf was first sent to two-day police custody. On Saturday, he was produced before a court that remanded him in judicial custody.