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Cops nab women posing as gas co technicians

They posed as representatives of gas agencies engaged in door-to-door maintenance services and mostly targeted housewives when they are
alone at home during the day, with the husbands at work and children in school or colleges. On Wednesday, Sakkardara police nabbed two such women, aged between 25 and 30, for tricking victims and decamping with valuables from many residences.

Police said Anita Josef and Aarti Wazare befriended each other and decided to team up to dupe housewives. In March, 45-year-old Sheila Lonkar of Ashwirwad Nagar was allegedly tricked by Josef and Wazare into believing that they were representatives of a gas company. Police said they spoke confidently and flashed an identity card too before pulling off the trick. Lonkar, who was about to enter the bathroom, had kept her jewellery on a shelf in the kitchen. The two scamsters gained entry into the kitchen claiming to be experts in repairing gas pipes.

"They distracted the victim (Lonkar) by requesting her to bring them a scissor. The duo pocketed the jewellery kept on the kitchen shelf when she walked out of the kitchen to bring the scissor," said senior inspector P T Ingle, in-charge of Sakkardara police station. "Before the woman could return, the duo decamped on their two-wheeler," said Ingle, who stressed that housewives should not entertain strangers, even women, at their residences when alone. "Lonkar noticed the theft after she returned from the bath. The duo may not have even touched the gas pipe that they promised to repair or replace," said Ingle, who claimed that the duo would even keep a tool kit with them to make their appearance authentic.

The duo was caught after head constable Sukdeve Madavi and his squad comprising constables Sandeep Gawli, Pankaj Borate and Deepak Rithe, working under sub-inspector Bansode, came across a record of Rana Pratap Nagar police that featured the names of these two. The culprits had been slapped with preventive action at the police station. "Fortunately, one of the constables of R P Nagar also had their photos clicked and stored in his mobile phone. We transferred the images onto our handsets and took them to Lonkar, who identified them. We worked on the information and nabbed Josef after zeroing down on her address at Ajni railway quarter. She and her accomplices had furnished a wrong address to the police at R P Nagar police station," said a policeman.

"We later picked up Wazare too. They both confessed to the crime," he said. It was a receipt from a jeweller's shop, found in a search at Josef's house, that nailed their lies. Police had been able to find the shop where Josef and Wazare had mortgaged the jewellery for Rs 1,800. The duo confessed that the I-card was made with the help of a friend.

Source: TOI


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