Thieves disguised as repairmen dig up Dadar trail, steal copper cables worth thousands of dollars

Thieves disguised as repairmen dig up Dadar trail, steal copper cables worth thousands of dollars

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A BMC official said the civic body was baffled by the huge scale of work on the footpath when nothing was approved either at the district level or by relevant departments.

In a shocking incident in Dadar, India, thieves brazenly stole expensive copper wires from utility cables lying under a footpath.

Local police arrested five men for stealing copper cables worth ₹6 lakh – ₹7 lakh (up to $8,000) from cables laid under the footpath.

Copper costs ₹845 ($10) per kg.

The incident, which took place on the Dadar-Matunga stretch of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Highway, was supposed to be a road and pavement repair work but sparked speculation from residents when the excavated areas did not return to normal in time .

After the 2-3 meter wide footpath between Kings Circle and Dadar TT Circle, one of the widest in the island city, was found haphazardly dug up in patches, residents reported it to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC ), which then began inspection of the matter.

A BMC official said the civic body was baffled by the huge scale of work on the footpath when nothing was approved either at the district level or by relevant departments.

State-owned telecom company MTNL also filed a complaint alleging that more than 400 of its telephone lines had been disconnected in the Dadar-Matunga area.

“We are still rectifying it. This has mainly happened around Dadar TT Circle where 105 meters of copper wire worth thousands of rupees were stolen,” said an MTNL official.

Then, at night, the police laid a trap at the place where the thieves were expected to dig the road.

“Once they arrived along with the contractor’s personnel, we intercepted and arrested them.

“The five accused are scrap dealers and had planned to sell the copper cables,” said Deepak Chavan, senior inspector of Matunga police station.

Police officers investigating the case said the thieves were digging up a small part of the trail every day and that more people were possibly involved in the crime.

“The five have other accomplices, since digging the entire section was not possible for only five people. We are tracking the other members of his gang,” said a police officer at Matunga police station.

Besides BMC, agencies digging up roads to lay underground utility cables include MMRDA, Mahanagar Gas, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation, Adani Electricity, Tata Power and BEST.

(With contributions from agencies)

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