Man steals bus with duplicate key, goes on damaging drive

Crushes bike of chasing cop before hitting 2 auto-rickshaws and a car.

A 27-year-old man using a duplicate key started a parked private bus and drove it off at high speed, damaging three vehicles and crushing the motorcycle of a traffic cop who gave chase and tried to stop him.

The incident drew a comparison with the Pune incident in January 2012 when driver Santosh Mane had gone on a rampage in a State Transport bus killing nine people and injuring 27.

On Tuesday, however, Vijay Thapa, who is suspected to have been intoxicated, stopped the vehicle before it could do any more damage.

Thapa damaged three vehicles and crushed a traffic policeman's motorcycle before being stopped and overpowered in Andheri.

According to the Andheri police, Thapa got into a luxury bus belonging to a private travel agency parked at JB Nagar junction and started it using a duplicate key.

He drove it towards the Gold Spot junction at a high speed, narrowly missing two vehicles.

This was noticed by some traffic constables attached to the Airport Traffic Division, and fearing a rampage similar to the one in Swargate, Pune in January 2012, they gave chase.

"Our constable, Santosh Kadam, overtook the bus on his motorbike and shouted to the driver to stop. Thapa stopped and Kadam, parking his bike partially on the path of the bus, opened the door of the bus. He had placed one foot on the footboard and had asked Thapa what he was doing when Thapa started the bus again and hit the accelerator. Kadam was thrown off and suffered minor injuries," said Senior Police Inspector V H Dhatrak, Airport Traffic Division.

Kadam's motorbike was crushed under the bus and was dragged for several feet. Thapa also hit two autorickshaws and an Innova car and reached BMW Junction in D N Nagar, where heavy traffic forced him to stop.

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