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Mobile phone thieves on the rampage in Thane restaurants


A gang of cellphone thieves have been targeting restaurants in the Thane district on Mumbai’s outskirts over the last week. Their modus operandi involves posing a guests before escaping with the bags of other guests.

The gang is estimated to have three people, one of whom walks into a restaurant to ask for a glass of water or pretends to be waiting to place his order for a takeaway, before snatching a guest’s mobile phone. In some instances, two gang members have been captured on restaurant cameras.

The first incident was reported last Saturday morning in Bhiwandi. A cellphone dealer said he was eating at a restaurant near the ST bus depot when a young man walked in and asked for water to drink. Shaikh was caught unawares as the man grabbed his bag and escaped from the restaurant. The police said that a few eyewitnesses said that the man jumped onto a motorcycle on which two of his accomplices were waiting outside, and the three sped away.

A 70-year-old businessman, a resident of Ulhasnagar, has been targeted twice.

In another incident, a 23- year-old man at an ice-cream parlour in Ulhasnagar, was robbed of his cellphone by a man who pretended to be in queue to place an order. The the ice-cream parlour’s camera shows the man fleeing after snatching the cellphone.

Considering the number of thefts in less than a week, the police are trying to track down the gang with help from camera footage, said an officer who have good leads.

Source: Times of India

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