Conman who fled with women’s bikes arrested

Swargate police on Thursday arrested a man posing as a mechanic who fled with bikes of women after stopping them and warning them that the rear wheel was wobbling and would come off. On Sunday, four women had complained that their bikes had been stolen in this fashion.

Police said the man was an alcoholic and his intention was to empty out valuables from the bike's goods compartment to meet the expenses of his addiction. Swargate police identified the arrested as Pravin Pandurang Rangole alias Pintya (29), who lives in Parvatidarshan area.

Giving details of his modus operandi, police said he would arrive on a stolen bike and stop his victim warning that the rear wheel of her two-wheeler would come off. He would proceed to "repair" the wheel and drive the vehicle to test it. The victim would allow him to take the ride as his bike — police have learnt he arrived on stolen bikes — was parked at the spot. He would remove the valuables from the goods compartment of her bike and use that bike to dupe another woman.

Senior inspector Ram Pathare of Swargate police station said similar incidents had been earlier reported at Vishrambag, Khadak, Swargate, Bibwewadi and Sahakarnagar police stations.

Pathare said, "The suspect claimed he was a mechanic and could fix the fault. He would park his bike nearby and pretend to do something with the rear wheel and the axle. He would then ask for a ride to check whether the problem has been fixed."

Police said two or three similar cases had been reported in a day from one area. He said Rangole duped several women in a day. "At the end of the day he would park the last stolen bike in a public parking lot and go home."

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