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Cops net 91 'Tak Tak' thieves in 2 days

Monday, 21 July 2014 - 7:58am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Several gangs in the western suburbs trick motorists at busy junctions to rob them

A fortnight ago, businessman Jiten Gangar was robbed of Rs 8.75 lakh by a gang of four at a busy junction on MG Cross road, Kandivli West. The four first rammed their Esteem into Gangar's Swift from behind. Then, one of them made their way to Gangar's car and knocked on his window. When Gangar rolled it down, the thief began to argue with him. With their target distracted, one gang member quietly opened his car door, picked up his bag containing cash, and fled the scene.

This is not an isolated case. Like Gangar, many motorists have been falling prey to this trick, also called the 'Tak Tak' method by cops. This method is mostly reported from the Western suburbs, especially between Goregaon and Dahisar.

To put an end to this menace, the north zone of the Mumbai police initiated a Tak Tak-suspect drive across several busy junctions of the Western suburbs on Friday. The results: They nabbed more than 200 suspects in just two days from more than 30 vulnerable areas. Of these, 91 have been arrested.

Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police, North Region, said, "We have been receiving several such complaints. A person driving the car is stopped at a junction. Somebody knocks on the window and tells him his rear wheel has got punctured. As soon as he gets out of the car, sufficiently distracted, a gang member opens the other door and gets away with wallet, laptop, mobile, etc."

The ACP added that on Friday and Saturday, more than 200 police officers in plain clothes were deployed at various vulnerable spots and junctions to keep a tab. "We nabbed 201 persons who were suspiciously moving around and knocking on cars or trying to distract the driver. There are several gangs operating which are increasingly using this modus operandi," added Singh.

"We checked past records and conducted inquiries, following which we arrested 91 of them. This has been the result just two days into the drive. We will be continuing the drive and nab more such gangs," said Singh.

Some of the vulnerable areas from where culprits were nabbed include Oberoi Junction in Goregaon East, Inorbit Junction in Malad West and Film City Road in Dindoshi. A police officer said, "We studied these crimes from the past and narrowed down all the vulnerable areas where officers were sent. Several gangs were operating, most at Malad West, Bangur Nagar, Vanrai and MHB Colony. We studied the movements of these gangs and as soon as they knocked on somebody's car and give some lame reason to distract the driver, we got hold of them."

The Tak Tak drive

Days: July 18 and 19

Undertaken by: Mumbai police (north region)

Results (zone 11 and 12 of north region):
Number of suspects – 201
Numbers of arrests - 91

Number of suspects nabbed station-wise:
Bangur Nagar - 20
Malad - 25
Malwani - 14
Kandivali - 15
Charkop - 0
Borivali - 10
MHB Colony - 20
Gorai - 11
Goregaon - 12
Vanrai - 17
Aarey Colony - 4
Dindoshi - 9
Kurar - 7
Kasturba - 15
Dahisar - 16
Samta Nagar - 6

Target areas:
Oberoi junction, Dindoshi
MTNL junction, Goregaon
Inorbit junction, Malad
Suman Nagar junction, Borivali
Don Bosco junction, MHB Colony
Film City road, Dindoshi
D Mart junction, Kandivali

The Tak Tak method:
Step 1
: One of the thieves knocks on the window of a car at a busy junction. The driver rolls down the window. The thief tells him he has had a tyre puncture.
Step 2: The driver gets out of the car and two strike a conversation. While the two are talking, another gang member quietly opens the other car door and takes out the bag filled with valuables, mobile and laptop.
Step 3: The gang then flees the scene.

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