Rashmi Rajput for Mumbai Mirror
- Two schoolboys from affluent families caught lifting mobiles at Borivli, but their four accomplices are still on the loose
Mumbai, Sep 27: Lure of designer clothes, night clubs, multiplexes and plush hotels drove some schoolboys from well-to-do families to flick mobile phones and rob purses of the rich during Navratri. Two boys, one of whose father is a NRI, were caught while trying to lift an high-end mobile phone at a garba venue on Monday night.
The gang of six have reportedly stolen 30 expensive mobiles during Navratri last year. Police said they are looking for the other youngsters who had assisted them in the thefts.
“The kids stole cellphones and wallets just to get some additional pocket money to spend. They have been sent to a juvenile home and we are on a lookout for the other kids,” said Addl Police Commissioner (north) Tukaram Chavan.
The class IX boys of a public school, had bought season tickets for Sej Navratri Mahotsav dandiya at Kora Kendra ground in Borivli, where they were caught on Monday night. Their party was spoilt after a CCTV monitored by the local police caught them on camera.
The modus operandi of the gang was to mingle with the crowd before identifying its victims. The group pushed people or fell on the ground to divert attention of their victims, before the others flicked the victim’s purse or mobile phone, sources said.
The boys would then sell the mobile phones at leisure, and in case of a purse, they would remove the money and discard it. With the money they either bought new clothes or went to a cinema or hotel, the sources added.
“One of the boys’ father works in the US and they all hail from well-off families,” said Chavan.
They were caught trying to flick the mobile of Firoz Khan, one of the garba organisers at Borivli.
“Around 9 pm when I was checking ground arrangements, a teenager dressed in green T-shirt and cream trousers followed me. He tried to flick my mobile from my pocket, but I was alert since there had been a number of cellphone thefts in the past,” said Khan. The boy along with his friend was handed over to police.
Khan said the same boys were caught stealing phones last year, but were let off with a warning.
According to Govind Naidu, trustee of the Govind Raj Naidu Charitable Trust, organisers of the garba, said, “Last year, they stole more than 30 mobile phones from various places. They were caught once but started crying, pleading that their family members would be hurt if they hear about the theft.”