Saturday’s incident of a software techie getting robbed of his money and valuables isn’t an isolated one. The Pune police admitted that such incidents were reported in the recent past, and that they have been conducting a special drive to curb them.
Yawatram Dayaram Chaudhari (32), a resident of Silver Spine Space in Wakad, was robbed of cash and valuables worth Rs45,000 on Saturday when he was going to Mumbai. Chaudhari, a software techie, was on his way to Mumbai for an interview when he was looted at knifepoint by inmates of his car on Pune Mumbai highway in the early morning hours. Chaudhari had hitched a ride in a private vehicle and hoped it would reach him faster.
The Pune police claimed that Chaudhari’s robbing was not a one-off incident and hithcing a ride or just blindly trusting a car driver had led to many others duped.
That’s exactly what happened to Virendra Upadhyay, a resident of Warje, who sought lift while coming back from his workplace at Hinjewadi IT Park. Upadhyay was offered a lift by four men on a Mahindra Scorpio when he was returning home on February 23. Upadhyay lost Rs25,000 and a gold ring to the four.
Viraj Sakerabhai Patel (29), a junior pilot working with the British Airways, was ignorant when he left all his valuables which included a laptop, ipod, and US currency totalling to almost Rs3.4 lakh in the car that he had hired. Patel had hired a car from Shirdi to come to Pune where he had a flight to catch early in the morning. As Patel got off the car near Pune railway station to ask for the address of the hotel, his driver fled with all his luggage. The incident took place on March 12 earlier this year.
“Chaudhari’s case is the fourth one we have come across where people seeking lift or hitching cheap ride have had to pay heavily. We have increased our patrolling near Chandni Chowk as this is one of the most popular pick-up points for Mumbai-Pune passengers and also on the highway. Most of these incidents take place either in the wee hours or in the early morning hours and around weekends,” said Parshuram Patil (Crime) of Hinjawadi police station.
Try and avoid hitching ride in private cars. Use authorised taxi, bus service or train services
If at all you do get into a private vehicle, note down the number of the vehicle
Inform the vehicle number, colour and make to your family members either through SMS or phone call while starting the journey
Survey the inmates of such cars well before getting in. Don’t be fooled by the presence of women in the car. They could be part of the gang.
2 arrested for robbing builder of car, cash
The Sahakarnagar police have arrested two persons for allegedly stealing a luxury car and Rs3.50 lakh from a city builder on Monday evening at Basuri Hotel located on Pune-Satara Road.
The arrested persons have been identified as Devendra Shivaji Dimble (25) of Sahakarnagar and Sangram Sadashiv Rajwade (31) of Wadgaon Budruk. The action was taken on a complaint lodged by the builder Vitthal Sakharam Dimble.
According to the police, Devendra claimed that he had invested Rs13 lakh in Dimble’s construction site a few months ago and was to get lucrative returns from him. However, as Dimble had constructed his building on an illegal plot, it was demolished recently by the civic authorities.
Assistant police inspector SD Patil of Sahakarnagar police station said, “Dimble had started his construction site at Dhankawadi area a few months ago. At that time, Devendra had invested Rs13 lakh in the site expecting good returns. But after the building was demolished, Devendra started demanding his money back, which Dimble couldn’t give. As a result, they had several fights in the past.”
“On Monday evening, Dimble was sitting in a hotel. Devendra and Rajwade came there and while one of them held his hand, another snatched his car keys and cash. They then drove away. Dimble approached us lot lodge a complaint. Our investigation is on,” Patil added.