Thane Rural Police claimed to have busted an interstate gang of robbers with the arrest of two of its members and seized a huge cache of arms from their possession.
The duo, identified as Deva Anna alias Devasish Tarapad Bank alias Asish Sandeep Gungun alias Asish Divakar Ganguli, and his accomplice Shankar alias Ramesh Kanchan Das, both 39-year-old, hailing from West Bengal, were on Sunday arrested, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, police nabbed the duo from Titwala town, Thane SP (Rural) Rajesh Pradhan told reporters.
They were members of the interstate gang, which was operating in Maharashtra and Gujarat, he said.
The SP claimed that the two admitted to have committing 13 robberies, he said.
Two pistols of USA and Italy make, two country-made firearms, 52 live cartridges, two magazines, one fake revolver, a pair of handcuffs, three khanjir (a small sword), three sickles, one axe, handgloves, face mask, a motor cycle, etc were recovered from their possession, he said, adding the total value of the arms cache was about Rs. two lakh.
A third member of the gang is on the run, the SP said, adding efforts are on to nab him.
He said Anna was in 2008 arrested in a house-breaking and theft case, and after serving three years in jail, where he met Shankar, he took to other ways of robbing people in connivance with the latter.
The modus operandi of the accused differed in each act, he said.
The offences perpetrated by the accused included six in rural Thane, besides those in Raigad, Neral, Karjat, Palghar, Dungri, Valsad and Navsari, he said, adding, they had opened fire at the victims in 10 of the cases.
The police is trying to ascertain if the gang members were involved in more crimes, he said.
Anna owned three PAN cards on different names, and as many as seven bank accounts, including those in West Bengal and Bihar, the officer said.
Anna, who had worked with a goldsmith before and hence had knowledge of handling gold ornaments, had mortgaged gold with a private lender, he added.