What could be a more intriguing case than that of a friend stealing from a friend? One in which both friends are senior citizens and the alleged thief is the son of a cop.
The Bandra Crime Branch Unit IX solved just such a case this week, with the arrest of Subodh Sharma (62), who is the son of former Mumbai Police ACP Suresh Sharma, for allegedly stealing valuables worth Rs 7 lakh from his friend’s house. Sharma was arrested in Dehradun earlier this week, after a three-month hunt based on details found in a bank passbook, and brought to Mumbai.
Officials said Sharma was a close friend of complainant Suryakant Hariyani, (66), a resident of Hasnabad Lane, Santacruz West, who runs an estate consultancy firm. They said he had been disowned by his children, used to stay at friends’ places and had taken to thieving to make ends meet.
Speaking to mid-day Hariyani said, “Subodh is a very old friend of mine, from the days when his father was an ACP. After he was disowned by his children, he came to stay in my house. I stay with my brother, Jagdish, who suffers from disabilities.”
Police said that, in May last year, Sharma stayed with Hariyani. He had brought a laptop worth R60,000 with him, and offered it to Hariyani for Rs 30,000. “One morning, when I returned after giving my brother a bath, Subodh was missing with his luggage.
The laptop, cash including the Rs 30,000 I had given him for the laptop two gold chains and two gold rings were also missing. The total value of the cash and valuables was Rs 7 lakh,” Hariyani said. He went to Santacruz police station, where a case was registered under Section 380 (Theft in house, dwelling, etc) of the Indian Penal Code.
Tracing the accused
A team of the Crime Branch Unit 9 found a bank passbook that Sharma had left behind in Hariyani’s house and, through it, found out an ATM card number, which they began keeping a tab on three months ago. When the accused carried out a transaction last week, they found out his cellphone number. Senior Police Inspector Mahesh Desai of Crime Branch Unit IX said, “We were tracking his card number for the past three months.
Last week, Sharma made a transaction after which we got his mobile number and located him in Dehradun. We immediately dispatched a team, under Joint Commissioner Atul Kulkarni, to Dehradun and arrested him. The accused was brought to Mumbai on Wednesday and handed over to the Santacruz police for further investigation.”