Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Businessman takes lift in car, robbed on Pune-Mumbai Expressway; second incident in 3 days | Pune News

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PUNE: Barely three days after a software engineer from Khopoli, who took a lift in a car, was threatened, robbed and abandoned at a spot near Talegaon Dabhade along the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, another victim was targeted in a similar manner last week. The police believe both crimes were perpetrated by the same duo.
On May 27, the techie from Khopoli in Rajgad district was robbed of cash and valuables when he sought a ride from two men in a sports utility vehicle (SUV) at Bhumkar Chowk. In the latest instance on May 30, a pest control businessman from Bhosari was robbed of his belongings in the same manner.
An officer from the Pimpri Chinchwad crime branch said, “We suspect involvement of the same persons in the two crimes. Their modus operandi was same. They used the same white SUV to offer lifts on the Katraj-Dehu Road bypass near Wakad.”
The businessman (32), who has filed a complaint at the Shirgaon police chowky, told TOI that on May 30, he had gone to Wakad as he wanted to meet his sister in Thane. “I was waiting for transport, when the white SUV stopped near me around 1.30pm. There was a man next to the driver. The latter asked where I wanted to go. I said Thane. He said he was going to Palghar, but could drop me off at Juinagar in Navi Mumbai. He asked for Rs100.”
The businessman said, “When the SUV started plying on the expressway, the driver asked for my cellphone as he wanted to make a call. He called someone and all of a sudden, asked me how much cash I was carrying. They then told me to hand it over to them.”
He added, “The driver said they were thieves and could murder me. I had Rs 1,000 with me, which I gave to them. They snatched my debit card and forced me to reveal the PIN.”
When the complainant requested that they return his smartphone, the driver said he would have to give them more money to get his phone back.
“The driver removed the SIM card and gave it to me. He stopped the SUV a few kilometres before Urse toll plaza and abandoned me there,” he said.
After they drove off, the Bhosari resident took a lift in another car and went to Shirgaon police chowky right away to file a complaint.
The crime branch officer also told TOI that the culprits had not used the debit card till the victim lodged a complaint. “The victim told us that his bank account did not have any balance in it. He was to initiate the process to block his debit card, but we requested him to wait as the duo could try to withdraw cash from somewhere and we could trace them,” the officer said.
The police are now going through CCTV footage as part of their ongoing investigation to identify the culprits, the officer said.

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