Mumbai News: Individual In Wadala Falls Victim To Phone Thefts, Repeated Offender Held

The residents of Sangam Nagar in Wadala East recently faced a peculiar situation owing to the scorching heat. Keeping their doors open at night to let some breeze in, they ended up falling prey to phone thefts. A repeat offender in the area is Ravi Gupta, a 22-year-old local resident, who already has at least eight cases of theft registered against him.

The matter first surfaced on May 16 when several residents approached the police complaining about their phones going missing from their houses. An FIR was registered by a man whose iPhone was burgled.

The police initiated the investigation by patrolling the area at night and scanning CCTV camera footage. “The police realised that Sangam Nagar residents were keeping their doors open while sleeping at night owing to unbearable heat. Owing to their financial situation, they cannot afford air conditioners or coolers, so the only way they get respite is by keeping the doors open.

The lanes inside Sangam Nagar don’t have any public CCTV cameras, so the police analysed some private CCTVs on the outskirts, away from the residential locality. After looking at the footage from several nights, they found a young man lingering there between 3am and 4 am. After several days of watching the suspect, they nabbed Gupta on June 2.

The police later recovered 23 stolen phones from him. During the investigation, the police found many labourers, who said they bought second-hand mobile phones from Gupta at half-price.

The police checked the IMEI numbers (a 15-digit number unique to each device) of the stolen phones, which turned out to be owned by Sangam Nagar residents. Some of the phones are yet to be found. 

The Wadala TT police are coordinating with other police stations for similar cases registered against Gupta. After Wadala TT police, Dharavi, Nirmal Nagar and Shahu Nagar police are now queuing up for Gupta’s custody. For now, he has been remanded to judicial custody. 

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