Pune: Sleuths from Pune police Crime Branch have busted a gang of five men, who looted passengers on the pretext of offering them lifts in their car. Police claimed to have solved 14 cases of robbery filed in November in various police stations including Bund Garden, Yerawada, Hinjewadi, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Shivajinagar, Khed and Virar with the arrests.
The five accused have been identified as Ashok Bansode (34) of Hadapsar, Mohsin Pathan (27) of Kondhwa, Arabaz Pathan (26) of Hadapsar, Mukesh Chavan (22) of Hadapsar and Nikhil Bamne (23) of Wadarvadi.
DCP (Crime) Pankaj Dahane said, “On November 4, Bansode and Bamne were on the prowl to commit burglary. At FC Road, they found a white Skoda with the key in the ignition. The duo first took the key and later in the night drove away the car. They had put a fake number plate and displayed ‘Army’ on the windshield to ward off police suspicion. Using the car, they looted several persons.”
On November 23, Amitkumar Tyagi (28) of Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, was returning after seeing off his relatives at Pune airport. At Pune railway station, he took a ride with the accused in their car to go to Mumbai. Two passengers were already sitting inside and threatened him with a knife and Khukri and robbed him of his laptop, mobile phone, PAN card, company identity card, ATM card and cash and dumped him at Wakad. A similar crime was reported at Yerawda on November 28.
Senior Police Inspector Sitaram More, in-charge of Crime Branch unit 3, said, “While investigating the cases, we identified the car on CCTV at three locations in the city and eventually recovered it near Nashik. Till now, we have seized two laptops, 12 mobile phones, two gold rings, one gold chain, one Pulsar motorcycle, one Skoda car, two fake number plates, one Khukri and one knife, totally worth Rs 15.35 lakh from their possession.”
ACP Sameer Shaikh from Crime Branch said that some of the accused persons had met in jail and formed the gang. “Bansode, Chavan and Bamne met in jail while serving a sentence for rape, molestation and burglary. After his release, Bansode met Chavan’s brother Mukesh at Pune. Mukesh gave Bansode a mobile handset and a motorcycle and made arrangements for him to stay in the city. On the release of Bamne, Bansode stole the car and committed the crimes.”
According to the police, Bansode has eight cases of rape, murder and thefts registered against him in Shivajinagar (Pune), Latur, Nigdi and Dindoshi. Bamne has cases of robbery and sexual assault registered with Chatuhshrungi police.