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Students on bike snatch phone

Two BCom first-year students of a south Calcutta college were arrested on Wednesday night for allegedly snatching a cell phone from a homemaker while she was speaking on it and taking a stroll outside her Santoshpur home.

Police said the duo came on a bike and grabbed the phone from Sansuta Chakraborty, 27, near Sukanta Setu at Nandan Kanan under Survey Park police station on March 12 evening.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini costs about Rs 20,000.

“The homemaker gave us the description of the two youths, whatever she could make out of them in the semi-darkness. One of them was apparently wearing a helmet,” said a police officer.

Aged 21 and 20, the two are residents of a housing estate in Sonarpur on the southern fringe of the city.

“One of the students had started using the phone that very night after inserting a new SIM card. But the phone could be tracked using its IMEI number,” the officer said.

Sleuths zeroed in on the phone through its tower location and caught the user at his home. Based on his statement, the other student was arrested.

“We have recovered the phone and seized the bike used for committing the crime. The bike belonged to the student who had kept the phone,” said joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

“They come from a modest background and their cell phones were not expensive. One of them fancied a touchscreen phone and planned to snatch one since he could not afford to buy one. He confided his plan to his partner and even bribed him after the crime so that he could keep the stolen booty,” a source said.

The police were trying to find out if this was their first brush with crime or they had committed any in the past.

A week ago, three men on a motorcycle snatched the gold chain of a woman waiting for a bus on Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue in Ballygunge to return home in the evening.

The crime was audacious since more than a dozen people were waiting at the bus stop around that time. The police have yet to catch any of the snatchers.