MUMBAI: Thanks to quick thinking exhibited by Tilak Nagar police, the personnel deployed on bandobast duty at Chheda Nagar last week solved a year-old murder and car theft case registered at Yellapur police station in Karnataka.

Officials said they arrested Fakirappa Mariappa Katamoney (24) on Saturday evening and handed him over to their counterparts from Yellapur police station last morning. Katamoney was wanted for murdering a driver and stealing the vehicle with his four accomplices on June 26, 2014.

Senior Inspector Bhagwat Sonawane from Tilak Nagar police station said, "On Saturday evening, a traffic police constable noticed a Bolero car with tinted glass and TC (trade certificate) number with Karnataka registration. This prompted him to stop the vehicle and check for its papers.

Katamoney was driving the car and stepped out after being asked to stop the vehicle." After Katamoney stepped out, the man in the co-passenger's seat told the cops that he was parking the car ahead. However, he fled the spot with two of his accomplices in the backseat.

The trio dumped the vehicle near Pestom Sagar and has been on the run since. After taking the car and Katamoney into their custody, Tilak Nagar cops called the car manufacturer to inform them about the vehicle. It was here that the police were informed that a complaint about the missing car had been registered at the Yellapur police station in 2014.

"We contacted the Yellapur police station. They confirmed that Katamoney and his four accomplices had stolen the vehicle after killing its driver," said Sonawane. API Avinash Pore from Tilak Nagar police station stated a missing person complaint was registered at Yellapur police station by the family members of the deceased Baswanappa Kotri (55) on June 27, 2014.

"Though the police managed to recover Kotri's body from Yellapur ghat, they were clueless about the killers and the motive behind the crime. Kotri's family members had registered the complaint after they failed to get through his number the previous day.

In their statement, they told the Yellapur police that Kotri was supposed to collect the vehicle from Nashik and deliver it to a car dealer in Karnataka," he said. Another official from Tilak Nagar police station said Katamoney confessed to the crime during investigation.

He added that Kotri decided to make a quick buck and picked up the five accused on his way to Karnataka. "They killed Kotri by strangulating him and dumped his body in the ghat. Later, they fled the spot with the car," the official said.

Katamoney and his accomplices have been booked under Sections 302 (punishment for murder) and 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code by the Yellapur police.

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