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Copper Wire Theft Uncovered Beneath Mumbai Footpaths; 5 Arrested

Mumbai: Residents in Mumbai's Dadar-Matunga area were in for a surprise when they discovered the theft of copper wire from utility cables buried under footpaths, initially presumed to be municipal work. Matunga police have apprehended five individuals in connection with the robbery of copper wires worth ₹6 lakh-₹7 lakh.

The revelation came to light during routine checks on a footpath along Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Dadar-Matunga stretch, where uprooted paver blocks had become a common sight. Upon investigation, it was revealed that thieves were systematically digging up sections of the footpath to access the copper wires.

Concerns arose after residents noticed the haphazard digging, prompting them to report the matter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). BMC's subsequent inquiry led to the discovery of ongoing theft operations beneath the footpaths, as per a report by Hindustan Times.

The scale of the operation was staggering, with more than 400 telephone lines tripping in the area, as reported by state-run telecom company MTNL. Following complaints, the Matunga police took action, resulting in the arrest of five suspects involved in the theft.

Senior Police Inspector Deepak Chavan disclosed that the accused, identified as scrap dealers, had intended to sell the stolen copper wires. Investigations revealed a systematic approach by the robbers, who would dig small portions of the footpath daily.

Authorities suspect the involvement of additional accomplices due to the extensive nature of the operation. BMC, along with various other agencies responsible for underground utility installations, expressed astonishment at the unauthorized digging and has taken legal action against the perpetrators.

The incident highlights the challenges faced by municipal authorities in safeguarding public infrastructure and underscores the need for enhanced vigilance to prevent similar occurrences in the future.