Tirurangadi: Bihar native Israel was in for a shock when he went to a shop to get the unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of his stolen cell phone. To his great surprise, the robber was standing next to him at the same shop seeking help to unlock the mobile phone.
Israel, who is working in a mill here in Malappuram district, lost his mobile phone, wrist watch and Rs 4,000 in cash the other day. He went to the shop at New Gulf Bazar near here from where he bought the mobile phone to get the IMEI number in order to lodge a police complaint. That’s when Nabeel, 30, the thief, came to the same shop with a request to unlock the cell phone.
When the shop owner asked how the cell phone got locked, Nabeel said that it was accidentally done by his kids. Smelling something fishy, Israel took the phone from Nabeel and while unlocking it, found that it was his stolen phone.
When the shop owner questioned Nabeel, the latter said that he bought the cell phone for Rs 5,000 from some persons at a festival venue. Nabeel demanded Rs 5,000 to hand over the phone, but the shop owner did not relent.
Later, Nabeel took Israel on his bike under the pretext of meeting the persons who ‘sold’ the cell phone. But Nabeel pushed Israel to the road when they reached a secluded place and fled the scene.
When the mill owner and some local residents came to the shop to enquire about the incident, they found Nabeel in the vicinity of the shop. Nabeel took to the heels seeing them and while fleeing ran into the local police station.
Police arrested Nabeel and later he was produced in a court.