Pune: Real estate agent turns chain-snatcher due to the lockdown

Pune: Real estate agent turns chain-snatcher due to the lockdown

Pune: A 'routine' chain-snatching case reported in Nana Peth vegetable market area near Camp on Tuesday afternoon, turned out to be an unusual one, as the suspect arrested in this case was not habitual offender, but a real estate agent who turned to crime after lockdown hit his business income and he struggled to make ends meet. Police nabbed him in only one hour after he attempted his first crime on Tuesday afternoon at around 1:30 pm.

Police have identified the suspect as Mohammad Atif Iqbal Shaikh (26), a resident of Nana Peth. Mohammad used to work as a real estate agent in Peth and Camp areas. Primary investigations revealed that he was under financial stress after his business took a hit after the lockdown was imposed in the city from March 18.

Samarth police have lodged a case against Mohammad under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. A 60-year-old woman has filed a complaint in this regard. Police have recovered a gold chain worth Rs 35,000 from Mohammad's possession.

Police Inspector Balkrushna Kadam said, "The complainant woman was walking towards the Nana Peth vegetable market when Mohammad approached her on his green scooter. She was wearing a gold chain, which Mohammad snatched away and fled. Before she could realize what had happened, Mohammad had gone too far to identify by his face. However, his scooter which was green in colour attracted the attention of the complainant."

Police Sub-Inspector Prabhakar Kapure said, "The woman immediately went to file a complaint to the police. While narrating the incident the woman revealed about the green scooter which Mohammad was driving. Police immediately swung into action and started identifying persons who were using this unusual coloured bike. They also started verifying the call details of persons in the area. A combination of technical analysis and human intelligence, led the police to zero in on Mohammad. A team of policemen comprising of Sahil Shaikh, Santosh Kale, Nilesh Sable, Pramod Tilekar, Sumit Kutte and Swapnil Waghole nabbed Mohammad within one hour of the crime."

When Mohammad's family was informed about his detention, they were shocked to hear about it. Mohammad's wife told police that he was worried about the income loss he had to suffer due to the lockdown of three months. "Mohammad used to wake up early morning and continuously worry about how to manage the family expenses without income," she told police.

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