Mechanics-turned-thieves steal less to evade detection

AC mechanics turn phone thieves but steal less to evade detection; held

Eighteen stolen phones and copper wires were recovered from them

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

Two natives of Bihar are accused of stealing everything that came their way, including smartphones, copper wires and cash. 

Mohammed Iftikhar Alam, 26, a resident of Kattigepalya, and Mohammed Shabbir, 24, of Shikaripalya in Electronics City, were arrested by Chikkajala police. 

Alam was accused of murder and other crimes in Bihar but got bail. He came to Bengaluru and began working as an AC technician. He befriended Shabbir, a fellow AC technician from Bihar. 

Police said Alam began stealing copper wires from air-conditioners when he went to repair them and sold the stolen items in the scrap market. He later began stealing from petty shops. He also stole mobile phones of construction workers when he joined the crew of labourers at multi-storey buildings, according to police. 

Since the amount involved in such thefts was less, most of them went unreported. But the pair’s luck ran out after they stole mobile phones from Cell Spot, a mobile phone store on Hosahalli Main Road in Hunasamaranahalli in the early hours of August 1. 

According to the shopkeeper Mahesh Kumar’s complaint, 15 phones were stolen by two persons and their act was captured on CCTV camera. 

A police team headed by Chikkajala police inspector Raghavendra S R launched an investigation and arrested the pair. 

Eighteen stolen phones and copper wires were recovered from them. 

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Northeast) C K Baba said: “The pair was caught with the help of technical clues. They used to steal smartphones in the guise of construction workers. We got to know that they were preparing to sell the phones at low rates but we caught them before they could do so. We recovered brand new phones of different companies intact.” 

Alam made sure the thefts were not immediately noticed by the owners by stealing in smaller quantities.

At the Cell Spot store, for instance, there were 150 units of smartphones, but the duo stole only a few. They also stole only a little of the copper wire that they later sold to scrap shops. When they found Rs 1 lakh cash in a shop, they stole only Rs 20,000, an investigating officer said. 


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