Five arrested for highway thefts, goods worth Rs 23 lakh seized

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Five held for highway thefts goods worth Rs 23 lakh seizedAHMEDABAD: A team of Ahmedabad rural police’s local crime branch (LCB) caught five members of Uttar Pradesh (UP) based gang for thefts and robberies on state highways. Police have seized valuables including, a mini truck, worth Rs 23.23 lakh from the gang members.

According to LCB officials, they got information on a gang involved in a robbery of Rs 10 lakh. On February 18, Mohammad Ayub Qureshi, a resident of Vatva, registered a complaint with Changodar police that when he was passing from Sanathal crossroads, two men had sought lift from him at 5.30am. When they went a few kilometers ahead, they forced him to stop the vehicle by threatening him with a country-made gun and fled with the truck. The truck was laden with 160 boxes of paan masala packets worth Rs 10 lakh.

“Working on information, we caught Ramesh Jatav, 45, Arjun Jatav, 26, Ankit Jatav, 26, Jitendra Jatav, 26, all residents of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, and Shivlal Panchal, 53, a resident of Waghodia, Vadodara, with a mini truck from Sanathal crossroads on Friday night. From their possession we found 50 of the stolen boxes worth Rs 6 lakh, four mobile phones and sedative pills,” said an LCB official.

Upon further questioning, the accused confessed that the remaining of the stock has been kept at a godown at Waghodia. A team went to Sardar Estate in Vadodara with the accused and found the valuables including boxes of paan masala and other electronic goods that the accused had stolen earlier. Police seized valuables worth Rs 16.19 lakh from the godown on Saturday.

AY Baloch, sub-inspector of LCB, said that the gang members have so far confessed of committing 11 thefts and robbery on state highway in past one year. “Five of them were committed at Dahej, two at Vapi and one each at Modasa, Surat and Udaipur in Rajasthan. The latest was committed at Changodar. Interestingly, out of the total incidents, only two – committed at Changodar and Modasa – were registered with police,” he said.

He added that the gang members used to ask for lifts in heavy trucks early in the morning and offer eatables to the drivers. Once they get inebriated, they would break open the cargo and steal the valuables. In most cases, they would abandon the trucks before check posts or toll booths.

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