Thane: Sixteen chain-snatchers, including two women, were arrested from city and 5 kg of stolen gold, estimated at Rs 1.50 crore, was recovered from them, police said on Wednesday.
"Police recovered around 5 kg of gold roughly valued at Rs 1.50 crore," Thane Police Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi told reporters.
With the arrest, police claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in cracking as many as 76 chain-snatching cases and are on the verge of solving more such cases, he said.
Prominent among those apprehended, after police launched a crackdown on chain-snatchers, are Sikandar Kasamali, alleged leader of the gang, and grocery shop owner Vasantji Dedhia who was picked up from Mohane in Ambivili among others.
According to Raghuvanshi, the arrested accused would sell the booty to the grocer, Dedhia, deviating from otherwise common modus operandi of selling stolen goods to local jewellers, apparently to outsmart police.
Dedhia, who also doubles up as a private moneylender, was booked under section 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property) of Indian Penal Code, besides under various sections of Bombay Moneylending Act 1946. A total 1750 gms of golden ornaments valued at Rs 52,50,000 were recovered from Dedhia, the police chief said.
The other accused are booked under section 392 (punishment for robbery) read with section 34 of IPC and golden ornaments worth Rs 97,50,000 were recovered from them, he said, adding that more than a dozen stolen motorcycles were also recovered from the arrested accused in the recent drive.
The accused would typically target pedestrian women and used to operate in Thane city and suburbs, he added.