Accused Abdul Mujeeb with an RPF officer
Call it rotten luck or karma, a 55-year-old thief, who had been stealing for nearly three decades, finally landed behind bars after he unwittingly made a police officer his soft target.
On Saturday, accused Abdul Mujeeb was on his usual pick-pocketing routine at Kurla station when he tried to steal a cell phone from a man standing there. Assuming he was an unsuspecting commuter, Mujeeb closed in on him, and tried to snatch the phone, when the alert target caught hold of him.
Five mobile phones, a knife, gun lighter and blood-stained shirt were recovered
What Mujeeb didn’t realise was that the person was a personnel from the Railway Protection Force (RPF), dressed in plain clothes.
According to Suresh Atri, inspector at Kurla RPF, Mujeeb had managed to steal a mobile phone from a commuter, before approaching the cop. “The officer immediately brought him to our post and we recovered five mobile phones from him,” said Atri.
On further questioning, the police learned that he was no ordinary thief. “He handles a gang of thieves that target passengers on long distance trains,” an official said.
The gang operates in Mumbai and Nagpur. “In Mumbai, around 10 people work for him. They steal in local trains during peak hours,” said the officer. Mujeeb also alleged that some RPF and Government Railway Police (GRP) officials were hand-in-glove with his gang.
Apart from the phone, the RPF also recovered a knife, gun lighter and blood-stained shirt from Mujeeb. “He claimed that the blood-stained shirt is his, but we are investigating the matter,” Atri added.
According to RPF sources, Mujeeb has been committing petty thefts for 30 years. The RPF has handed over Mujeeb and the seized goods to the GRP.
A GRP official said, “We registered a case against him under Section 379 (theft) of the IPC.”