The robber used to hit train commuters standing on the footboard and make off with their valuables like mobiles and bags.
Mumbai: The Mumbai crime branch has arrested a phatka robber who used to hit train commuters standing on the footboard on their hands only to flee with their mobile phones, handbags and other valuables.
The action came after a mobile video of the thief targeting an outstation commuter near Kurla went viral. Unit 4 of the crime branch began a parallel probe and apprehended the accused only to find out that he hadn’t been appearing in court in earlier cases registered against him.
The accused was identified as Ashraf Khan (32), a resident of Tagore Nagar in Vikhroli east. Khan was waiting at the railway tracks near Kurla station, where the trains slow down. On August 18, Khan targeted a commuter on a Mumbai-bound outstation train and fled with the commuter’s phone. The entire incident was captured on mobile by another commuter who happened to be fiddling with his phone.
“The commuter posted the video on social media, which had captured the face of the accused clearly. We used our informers’ network to track him down. He was taken into custody from Habib Hospital in Dongri area, where he works as a cleaner,” said a crime branch officer.
Upon questioning, the accused was found to be involved in more such phatka robberies. Upon checking Khan’s antecedents, officials found that he had at least five cases of dacoity, robbery and housebreak registered against him.
He had not been appearing in court in the ongoing cases and was untraceable, following which, the Vikhroli court also issued strictures against him, officials said. The accused has been handed over to the Government Railway Police (GRP) for further investigation.