The Koparkhairane police on Saturday arrested two men in the case of a robbery occurred at Saraswat Bank at Sector 19, Koparkhairane, 30 hours after the robbery on July 16.

Swapnil Sapkal (18) and Bhushan Choudhary (26), both from Chembur, were unemployed, investigations so far have revealed. Mr. Choudhary planned the robbery after his plans to start a shoe shop were foiled by the lockdown, and asked Mr. Sapkal to join him.

The accused recced the area for two months and finally conducted the robbery with pistol look-alike lighter and a knife. “Five minutes before they robbed the bank, a cash van had just collected ₹80 lakh form the bank and left while they were sitting there as customers,” assistant police inspector Wasim Shaikh said.

Of the ₹4.16 lakh stolen, police have recovered ₹68,000 from the accused. “With the help of technical evidence and information, we traced the accused,” police inspector (crime) Nishikant Vishwakar said. Five teams were formed to investigate the case.

“Mr. Choudhary had already rented out the shop for the shoe business but the lockdown came into force, due to which he planned the robbery,” senior police inspector Suryakant Jagdale said.

Vehicle theft in Vashi

Meanwhile, the Vashi police have arrested Amit Sakpal (35) who resorted to vehicle theft during the lockdown. Mr. Sakpal, a M. Com. graduate used to run a book stall in a mall at Kharghar which had ₹1 lakh rent.

“He lost business due to the lockdown. In order to feed his family, consisting of wife, a son and aged parents, he resorted to stealing eight vehicles from Vashi. Due to the lockdown, he could not sell them and hence we could recover them all,” senior police inspector Sanjeev Dhumal said. The accused was arrested after scanning footage from over 200 CCTV cameras.

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