10 arrested, 76 ‘stolen’ two-wheelers recovered

In some bikes, engine and chassis numbers were replaced with those of old vehicles, say police

The crime wing of the city police cracked a major vehicle theft case and arrested 10 accused and seized 76 two-wheelers, including a few high-end ones, here on Monday.

The main accused were identified as Mohammed Ahamad (37) of Alipuram, Gosangi Anand (27), an automobile mechanic and resident of Poorna Market area, and Bantupalli Suresh (30) of Alipuram. The other remaining seven are from various areas of the city and are iron scrap dealers.

The police took up the case on August 1, after one P. Murali Krishna, an employee of the HPCL, had lodged a complaint that his two-wheeler was stolen from Malkapuram area. “Based on the complaint and a few other previous complaints, which had the similar modus operandi, we formed a team and started to investigate the case,” said ACP (Crimes) Ch. Penta Rao. “Initially, we stumbled upon one motorbike that had the chassis and engine number erased and they were replaced by a new set of numbers that were embossed. This raised our suspicion and on investigation, it was revealed that though bike was of latest model, the registration book had a date of 1996,” said Mr. Penta Rao.

“Upon further investigation, we could locate 76 motorbikes, which include 58 from Visakhapatnam and 18 from U Kothapalli of East Godavari. This also led us to arrest the 10 members, including the three main accused,” he said.

Modus operandi

The police said the main accused Mohammed Ahamad, had some contacts in U Kothapalli and using them he would approach people owning old motorbikes. He would propose and convince them that he would transform the old bikes with a new look and bring the bikes to Visakhapatnam after collecting an advance ranging from ₹20,000 to ₹30,000 and also the registration books and other documents pertaining to the vehicles, the police said.

In Visakhapatnam, he would erase the engine and chassis numbers and sell them to the scrap merchants, with the help of Anand and Suresh, who did the dismantling and erasing job for him.

“In Visakhapatnam, he would then commit theft of new bikes, erase the engine, registration and chassis numbers with the help of Suresh and emboss the numbers of the old bikes brought from U Kothapalli, in an effort to give some legitimacy to the stolen bikes and again sell them either to scrap merchants or to prospective customers,” said ADCP (Crimes) V. Suresh Babu.

Taking the lead from one bike, it took about 20 days for the special team comprising M. Avataram, Inspector (crime) Harbour Police Station, D. Suri Babu, SI of Malkapuram (Crime), and B. Ramanayya, SI of Parawada PS, to track the gang and retrieve the two-wheelers.

Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha appreciated the efforts of the team.

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