Pune city police have arrested three members of a mobile theft gang, who stole cell phones during Ganesh Festival crowds, said police officials of Saturday.
According to the police, they are all from Karnataka and had specifically come to Pune for the Ganesh festival, knowing there would be big crowds which would make stealing easier.
The accused have been identified as Sharath Manjunath (21), Keshav Lingraju (24) and Navin Hanumanthappa (19).
On September 1, during patrolling, police received information about members of a mobile theft gang waiting near Fun Time on Sinhgad road. Acting on the tip, the police nabbed three persons.
Police recovered 42 mobiles from Manjunath, 41 from Lingraju and one mobile from Hanumanthappa. Total 84 mobiles worth ₹12.25 lakh were seized. During interrogation, it was revealed that the gang members targeted crowds at Marketyard, Swargate Bus Stand, Balajinagar, Katraj, Abhiruchi, among other areas.
Police officials said, they are frequent offenders and come to Pune every year during Ganesh festival, Dussera, Diwali when large crowd is seen. During Ganesh festival, they spend 10 days living on footpaths and targeting people in the areas. They sell these stolen mobiles in Karnataka at the end of the festival.
Sinhgad road police have appealed people to reach out if their mobile has been stolen by contacting on 020 24268270. They can reach out to police constable Avinash Konde on 9764647964, after verification they will get their phones.
A case under sections of 392 (Punishment for robbery) has been registered.