34-year-old doctor rushes to mum-in-law’s aid after robber threatens the latter at knifepoint, scares him away; cops later arrest the habitual offender
There isn’t likely to be any saas-bahu nok-jhok in this Mulund house for a long time. A 34-year-old doctor foiled a robbery attempt at her home and saved her elderly mother-in-law, whom the thug had at knifepoint, by fighting him off. Though the accused had managed to flee the scene during the attempt on Saturday, the police arrested him a few hours later.
Identified as Mira Road resident Subhash Sonawane (37), the police have found out that he is a habitual offender, who would target homes where women or senior citizens lived alone, gaining entry by posing as an employee of an LPG service provider.
The police said Sonawane would roam around in a Honda City and select his targets at random, paying a visit in the afternoon. He would enter the houses by saying he had come from Mahanagar Gas Limited to note down gas meter readings.
On Saturday, he entered Mandar Society in Bhoir Nagar, Mulund (East) and knocked on Vanages’ door. Seventy-seven-year-old Sandhya Vanage, who lives with her son Swapnil, daughter-in-law Nilam and an eight-year-old grandson, answered. Sonawane introduced himself and asked her if any male from the family was home. When she replied in the negative, he thought she was alone and entered, saying he needed to check the gas meter. Within minutes, he took out a knife and put it on her throat, threatening her and starting to pocket valuables. The elderly woman shouted for help and Nilam, who was in the other room, rushed out. Sonawane panicked, after Nilam caught him by surprise, pinning his hands down. She tried to overpower him, but he managed to wrest free from her grasp and run away. While escaping, his mobile phone fell in the house.
The local police were informed. Officers arrived on the scene and, with the help of the victims and photos in his phone, identified the accused, alerting all other policemen in the area. He was caught after a few hours. During interrogation, he admitted to having robbed another woman in the same manner in 2015.
The police have booked him under sections 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery) and 454 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit offence) of the Indian Penal Code.