Mumbai: When 94-year-old Bipin Shah found himself relieved of his gold chains worth Rs 60,000, little did he know that a hero — nearly 80 years his junior — would come to the rescue. 15-year-old Krish Shah (no relation) relentlessly pursued the hapless crook and finally handed him over to the police after more than a kilometre-long chase lasting over half an hour.
The incident took place on Marve Road in Malad around 4.30 pm on Wednesday.
"Many other pedestrians attempted to go after the thief, but they soon gave up. Krish continued pursuing him on his bicycle. The thief changed rickshaws at every traffic signal to try and dodge the kid, but was finally nabbed," a witness said.
"I was cycling in my society as I usually do. Suddenly, I heard someone shout 'thief!' and spotted a man running. I told our watchman to follow him, but he was scared that the criminal might be armed. The thief caught an auto rickshaw and fled, but I followed him."
Bipin was about to enter his flat in Kapol Society building when he was accosted by alleged snatcher Satish Rumav, 40, who pinched two gold chains from the nonagenarian.
Krish gave chase for about 200 feet and caught the miscreant, taking the valuables back from him. Bystanders gave Satish a thrashing, but, surprisingly, he managed to run away again.
While other locals gave up, Krish, true to his name, continued pursuit, catching the thief at Sapna Hotel, Malad. Onlookers then aided the plucky teenager by calling the police.
Namrata Shah, Krish's mother, who's a teacher by profession, was terrified when she heard of the incident. "When I came home, everybody told me what happened. Initially I was scared, but later I really felt proud of his heroism."
"I was returning from my yoga class and was entering my flat when somebody snatched my chains. I am proud of what Krish did and have decided to reward him," said Bipin.
Bholaprasad Vishwakarma, the building watchman, said, "I was behind the building, supervising construction work, when I heard the commotion. I saw Krish chasing the thief and began running after him too. Krish stopped him near the signal where we took the chains back from him. When he ran off again, I returned to the society, but Krish didn't give up."
Avinash Jadhav, senior inspector of Malad police station, said, "Krish has really done a commendable job. Otherwise the accused would have fled from the spot." Satish has been booked under Section 379 (theft) of IPC. He was produced at Borivli Metropolitan Court and remanded to police custody.