Body language of a history-sheeter leads to arrest

Bombay: A policeman’s memory is often said to be one of his best weapons and the adage was proven to be true earlier this week when the Dindoshi police were on the trail of a chain snatcher. Despite CCTV footage of the crime being blurred, police officers, based solely on memory, identified the suspect – a history sheeter – from the way he sat on his bike while riding it and arrested him.

According to the Dindoshi police, the crime was committed at around 7.30 am on Tuesday, when Goregaon resident Shyama Jeedi (65) was leaving the Krishnavatika Temple in Goregaon after offering prayers as per her custom. She had just stepped out of the vehicle when two men drew alongside her on a motorbike, snatched her ten-gram gold chain and sped away. The police registered an offense of robbery and started investigating the case.

“We viewed the feed from CCTV cameras from the Gokuldham area, and one camera had captured the entire incident. It showed the duo speeding away towards the Dindoshi court. We then moved to the court area and scanned CCTV footage from there. We were able to track the duo all the way to Powai before we lost them. However, due to their speed, none of the cameras had captured the suspects with any reasonable clarity for us to be able to get a usable still,” said assistant police inspector Chandrakant Gharge, Dindoshi police station.

Gharge added that the investigating team took the footage to the police station for a second look. At this time, the police decided to rely on the memory of their colleagues and peers.

“We circulated short clips of the footage among our own officers and constables, as well as the detection teams of other police stations in the city. One by one, we started getting responses, all of them pointing towards one single suspect. All of these leads were based on the suspect’s body language, the way he leaned on the handlebar while driving, and other such minute observations which we gather on the job,” Gharge said.

After confirming the information with several police stations in Mumbai, the investigating team visited the Ghatkopar residence of the suspect, identified as Faizal Ali Sheikh (24). The police’s suspicion was confirmed when a search of Sheikh’s residence revealed the victim’s gold chain.

“Sheikh is a repeat offender and has 42 cases registered against him in various police stations in Mumbai and Thane. We are checking if there are any cases where he is still wanted,” Gharge said.

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