Cop cracks car regns, nabs thieves

RP_Car thief

Sachin Ugale arrested the trio in Peth area, realising the registration number and vehicle model did not match


This is not a first for Constable Sachin Ugale, deployed with the special force of South Region of city police. Given his well documented skill for identifying registration numbers of vehicles and tagging them to the correct make of the vehicles, it was just another feather in his cap when, on Friday, he spied two stolen SUVs, making them out from their fake number plates. These were vehicles stolen in 2011 and 2013 from Mumbai.


“I was patrolling the Peth area on Friday with a colleague when I spotted two Innova cars bearing Pune registration numbers passing by. However, I quickly realised that the registration numbers and the models of the two vehicles were not in tandem. Sensing something amiss, I flagged down the two SUVs and checked the drivers’ documents, which exposed several discrepancies in the vehicle details. Subsequently, we took the two cars and their occupants to the police station, where the trio confessed to stealing the SUVs during the interrogation,” Ugale told Mirror.


The two seized cars are estimated at Rs 16 lakh. The arrested have been identified as Angat Nivrutti Holkar (30) of Usmanabad, Dyneshwar Siddhu Jadhav (47) of Ghatkopar and Dipak Sahebrao Marathe (24) of Nalasopara in Mumbai.


Jadhav was employed with a private firm in Mumbai in 2011, when he hatched the plot with Holkar and Marathe to rob the vehicles of his employers. “In accordance with their plan, Jadhav made a duplicate key of the vehicle and handed it to his accomplices. Later, the duo used the duplicate key to steal the vehicle from Powai area in Mumbai.

Deploying a similar modus operandi, the trio stole another SUV of the firm from Dadar in 2013. Separate cases have been registered with the respective police stations against the trio in the case,” Ugale recounted.


Ugale’s keen observation skill comes from his long experience of checking vehicles while on duty as a traffic cop. “Working at different chowks in the city, I started correlating the registration numbers to the models of the vehicles on city roads. Diligent monitoring over several years gave me the ability to recognise vehicle models using their registration numbers, specifically keeping in mind what year the production of a particular model was stopped, and the vehicle was taken off the road,” explained Ugale.


He credited Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Manoj Patil for supporting him in this endeavour. “We had conducted a special drive to search owners of vehicles which were dumped at the police station. At that time, we had roped in Ugale and a few other constables. Between them, they had traced most of the owners. While working on this assignment, they had also sharpened their skills in identification of vehicles’ model, engine number and body number. Soon, they started spotted such vehicles in the city and solving some cases. Following this, we had freed them from regular duty and formed a special squad to track down such vehicles,” Patil told Mirror.