For a little over 9 months, two men multi-tasked three hours a night and by the time the police arrested them, Mayur Waghmore and Dipesh Shirke had amassed a one BHK flat in Pimpri, gold worth Rs22 lakh, three sporty bikes and a sedan car worth Rs8 lakh.
Both former home guards, the duo worked on a very simple strategy — dash their bikes against other vehicles in fringe areas of the city between 9pm and midnight and then engage the drivers and owners in fights before fleeing with their valuables. And at times, their vehicles.
Their luck ran out after the Pune police (crime branch) unit III studied the pattern and found that they were dealing with a duo that was wearing home guard uniforms while going for the kill. A trap was laid in Aundh on Saturday and both Waghmore and Shirke walked into their trap.
Not only did they wear official uniforms approaching motorists and asking them to show their vehicle documents and extorted money from them, but also stole their vehicles.
Most of the offences committed by the duo took place in Chatuhshringi, Hinjewadi, Chinchwad, Sangvi, Bhosari MIDC, Nigdi, Dattawadi, Yerawada, Warje Malwadi, Kothrud, Airport and Pimpri police station areas, said Sunil Pawar, inspector in-charge of crime branch (unit-III) said.
"Our investigations revealed that they used to be home guards and from September 2013, they started this activity between 9pm to midnight targetting bikers and car drivers. They would either halt people on the pretext of checking their vehicle documents and demand money from them or dash into their vehicles to start fights. Once the driver walked out of the car or got off the bike, they would flee with their gold ornaments etc. At times they also fled with bikes and cars. As many as ten cars were stolen by this duo," Pawar said. Police also suspect that the number could be much higher as people were not aware and may not have reported small thefts.