Pune: After several incidents of people being targeted by thieves, who gave them a hug, officials of Marketyard police finally arrested three persons and claimed to have solved at least 11 such theft cases.
Police have recovered material worth Rs 4.5 lakh from the three accused, identified as Akshay Jagtap, Akash Dhumal and Rohan Jadhav. According to information given by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II) Pravin Munde, the gang would use various tricks to give a hug to victims to divert their attention before pick-pocketing them.
“We have found various CCTV footage where the accused have been caught stealing wallets or cash from the victims. The accused would pretend to be drunk and fall onto the victim and steal cash, or they would simply give a hug to the victim and steal cash,” added Munde.
Police Inspector Mohan Shinde of Marketyard police station said that after repeat incidents in Marketyard, CCTV footage of the accused was shared with police officials. “On Monday, accused Akash and Rohan targeted a man while asking him for an address. The victim lost Rs 4,000 in the incident. Policemen BM Musle and SP Polekar, who were on beat marshall duty, traced and nabbed the two accused, who were on a two-wheeler,” Shinde further added.
During interrogation, the two accused revealed details of their third partner. Police said that that the accused have been committing such crimes from the last three months. Police Inspector Vijay Deshmukh said that Akshay is a BCom graduate and the other two accused have studied till Standard X. “The accused do not have past criminal records. They thought of making some easy money and entered into crime. The accused have deposited some stolen cash at a cooperative society and have bought a two-wheeler and a mobile phone worth Rs 50,000,” added Deshmukh.
DCP Munde has appealed to people to stay away from such people who are trying to steal people’s belongings on the pretext of giving them a hug. Police has also appealed to people targeted in such a manner to come forward. City police said that there are chances of more gangs involved in such crimes as multiple such incidents have occurred in the last few months.
The accused have committed six such crimes in Marketyard, and one each in Sahkarnagar, Deccan, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Lashkar and Bhosari.