5 held for looting, keeping trader hostage

ST CORRESPONDENT
Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Jyotipriya Singh said "The mastermind of the robbery is the son of the trader’s driver who has been working for the family for about three decades. Our teams scanned CCTV footages and identified one of the robbers as a criminal on records of Mumbai police. After he was nabbed, he spilled the beans and others were also arrested.”

PUNE: Sleuths from Crime Branch Unit 1 of Pune city police have arrested five persons including the son of the driver of a Mumbai-based cotton trader, who was held hostage at his Apte Road bungalow on January 16. According to police, armed robbers had looted cash, ornaments, totally worth Rs 5.7 lakh from the trader. Two suspects are still on the run, police said. 

While addressing a press conference, Jyotipriya Singh, who is holding charge of the Crime Branch Additional Commissioner, said, “The accused persons had planned in advance and done a recce of the bungalow. The mastermind of the robbery is the son of the trader’s driver who has been working for the family for about three decades. Our teams scanned CCTV footages and identified one of the robbers as a criminal on records of Mumbai police. After he was nabbed, he spilled the beans and others were also arrested.”

According to the police, the incident took place between 9.30 am and 1.30 pm on January 16. “Myself, my brother-in-law (79), driver, caretaker and a maidservant were in the bungalow when the four persons barged in and threatened us with a pistol and knives. They looted ornaments, cash, mobile phone, and watch totally worth Rs 5.7 lakh,” states the complaint registered by the 63-year-old woman relative of the elderly trader. 

Police officials said that robbers wanted Rs one crore and the complainant asked them to get it from their office. Accordingly, one of the robbers took away their driver Shivaji Medge (50), while three others remained at the bungalow. They had also manhandled the senior citizens and gagged them. They managed to muster courage and raised an alarm following which, three robbers had fled. After being informed by his accomplices, one of the robbers, who had reached Kurla in Mumbai, left the driver and fled. 

DCP (Crime) Shirish Sardeshpande said that driver Medge’s son Deepak Shivaji Medge (38) is the mastermind. “We have seized Rs 40,000 cash, a vehicle worth Rs eight lakh and diamonds totally worth Rs 10.8 lakh from the possession of the accused persons. They had used a lighter resembling pistol for the crime,” he added. 

According to police, Head Constable Yogesh Jagtap and Police Naik Sudhir Mane identified one of the robbers from the CCTV footages as Kiran Tawde, a criminal from Mumbai. Later, the other three accused persons were arrested. 

ACP (Crime 1) Sameer Shaikh supervised the investigation team, which included Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Kadam, PSI Dinesh Patil and policemen Rizwan Jinedi, Hanif Shaikh, Baba Chavan, Ajay Thorat, Shrikant Wghwale, Tushar Khadke, Amol Pawar, Vaibhav Swami, Prakash Lokhande, Ashok Mane, Subhash Pingale, Dhanaji Patil, Bashir Sayyed, Gajanan Sonune, Sanjay Barkade, Anil Ghadge, Irfan Shaikh, Umesh Kate, Vijaysinh Wasave and Pravin Jadhav.

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