PUNE: The rural police on Sunday arrested a member of an inter-state gang involved in robbing unsuspecting victims after offering them lift in their vehicle.

Vilas Bade (25) of Chatgaon in Beed district was nabbed by a team of the crime branch led by inspector Dayanand Gawade after receiving a tip-off. Bade’s two accomplices are already in the custody of Beed police.

With the arrest of Bade, the police managed to solve the robbery case registered with the Shikrapur police on October 12, in which Bade and his four accomplices, including a woman, had robbed an Aurangabad-based mutual fund agent and his wife of cash, gold ornaments and a cellphone, collectively worth Rs 1.48 lakh after offering them lift in their vehicle. Police have recovered a cellphone from Bade, which was robbed by the gang in the Shikrapur incident. “After the Shikrapur robbery, the gang committed more robberies in Beed,” Gawade said.

Bade and his accomplices have cases of robberies and thefts registered against them in Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Beed, and also in Karnataka.

The modus operandi

To commit the robberies, Bade and his accomplices used to steal a four-wheeler. Before robbing the couple at Chakan Chowk, Shikrapur, the gang had stolen a sports utility vehicle from Warje Malwadi in Pune. Their woman accomplice always used to accompany them in the vehicle so that people, especially women or couples, could easily accept their offer of lift, Gawade said.

After seeing the woman in the SUV, the unsuspecting agent and his wife sat in the car without any hesitation. After travelling for about 10 km, the gang stopped the car at a secluded place and thrashed the couple before robbing them of their valuables and cash. They, then, made the couple get down on the road and vanished, Gawade said.

Gawade said after the Shikrapur incident, the gang had robbed two more persons in the last 15 days in Beed using the same modus operandi. However, their third attempt in Beed failed as the SUV they had stolen from Pune developed a snag and the Beed police managed to arrest two of Bade’s accomplices. “However, Bade and his two other accomplices have been on the run since then,” Gawade said.

Gawade said along with the cases of robberies, Bade has several cases of thefts registered against him with different police stations in the district. “Bade has been handed over to the Shikrapur police for further investigations,” Gawade added.

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