Rajkumar Nishad, 25, is a classic unwelcome houseguest with a criminal twist. He breaks into vacant bungalows in the Vasai-Virar region, loots them at leisure while staying for weeks and months in them using the facilities and food stored inside.
He was recently arrested after spending over three months in the bungalow of an NRI in Vasai.
Acting on a tip-off, around two weeks ago a trap was laid and Nishad was arrested from a vacant twostorey bungalow located at Ambadi Road in Vasai (west). It turned out the owners, based in Dubai, had no clue.
“They learnt only after we contacted them,” said investigating officer Asif Baig.
Nishad, who also goes by the name Brijesh, has confessed to having robbed and stayed in six vacant bungalows in the jurisdiction of Vasaigaon and Manickpur police stations in Vasai. Cops suspect he may have targeted many more.
A number of NRIs and business families in Mumbai have invested in sprawling one-and two-storey bungalows in the region. They visit barely twice a year and the houses remains unattended (without security) for months. Many of these bungalows have closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) which are damaged by the thieves.
A few months ago, Nishad had broken into a vacant bungalow in the Stella area of Vasai (west). He stayed for a few days and left along with valuables, an LCD TV and a car. Interestingly, he abandoned the car at a distance outside another vacant bungalow. What the cops didn’t know was that Nishad had parked himself in that bungalow.
“He used to take a shower, bring meals from outside and eat it inside the comfort of the bungalow,” said Baig, adding that he never switched on the lights. He stole gold, silver ornaments, cash and expensive goods from the NRI’s bungalow.
Nishad got trapped when the police was questioning another thief in connection with another theft. He spoke about Nishad and how he operated. It emerged that though Nishad used to operate alone initially, he later roped in an accomplice as he would get bored in the sprawling houses.
The police said Nishad would scout for vacant bungalows. After being convinced the occupants would not return for days, he would carry out a robbery and stay in it.
The police have recovered goods worth Rs 3 lakh. Most of the other valuables had been sold off.