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Snatcher falls in trap

A snatcher who demanded money to return a cell phone to its owner rode into a police trap and was arrested on Thursday afternoon.

Kavita Kumari, 25, was walking past the Tollygunge tram depot on Wednesday evening when a man on a bike, later identified as Abhishek Kumar, 30, snatched her cell phone and sped away. The woman told police that she could not see the mans face as he was wearing a helmet.

After returning home to Ashoknagar in Tollygunge, Kavita made frantic calls to her cell phone. She got a response after 15-20 attempts.

A male voice demanded Rs 9,000 to return the phone. Kavita had bought the phone for Rs 21,000, said an officer of Tollygunge police station. We told Kavita to send a text message on her phone saying she could pay Rs 5,000. She did so and the man immediately called back, asking Kavita to come to a bus stop near the Tollygunge tram depot after a couple of hours, said the officer.

Plainclothes cops took position near the bus stop and waited for Abhishek to turn up. Kavita reached the bus stop a few minutes before the scheduled time.

At 3pm a man arrived on a bike and stopped in front of Kavita. He took off his helmet and started talking to her. As soon as we saw him fishing out a phone, we nabbed him, said the officer.

Abhishek, the police said, was from Bokaro in Jharkhand and works in a private company in Bijoygarh.