A 38-year-old auto-rickshaw driver was beaten to death on suspicion of being a thief in Maharashtra's Palghar district, the police said Sunday.
The incident took place near Chinchoti on Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in the small hours of Saturday.
Naseem Shaikh, the victim, was resident of Sopara in the district.
Police spokesperson Hemant Katkar said that three men, residents of Asha Nagar in Chinchoti, stopped Shaikh when he was driving his auto-rickshaw around 3.30 am, and accused him of being in the area with the intention of committing a theft.
They beat him up with a belt and iron rods, killing him on the spot, the police spokesperson said.
While the police have identified the accused trio, nobody has been arrested yet.
A case of murder has been registered at Waliv police station and further probe was on, Katkar said.