‘Wealthy’ woman held over stealing ‘pastime’
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Patna: Police in India’s eastern Jharkhand state have arrested a 56-year-old wealthy woman accused of turning her stealing habit into a ‘hobby’ over the past 11 years.

She has been jailed six times in these years, but went back to stealing as soon as she was released from jail, police said. According to the police, a woman travelling in an auto-rickshaw in Ranchi last week found her cash and ornaments missing from the purse after alighting from the vehicle. She suspected the hand of an elderly woman travelling with her and reported the matter to the local police.

Acting on her complaint, the police scanned CCTV footage from the area and identified the woman thief suspected to be involved in the crime. Based on certain leads, the police raided a house located in Bokaro, some 100km away, and arrested the woman identified as Hasina Bano. The police also recovered the stolen cash and jewellery from her.

“While travelling, I mingle with passengers by making small talk with them. Once they are comfortable with me, I easily steal their valuables before quietly fleeing the scene,” the woman told interrogators. According to the police, the accused normally commits crimes in Ranchi.

Police said they were surprised to see the well-furnished double-storey building of the woman. Police said she lived a comfortable life, yet committed theft. During interrogation, she told the police that she stole for fun as it had virtually become her “pastime”.

“We always told her not to get involved in crime, but she ignored our advice. We are very sorry for her conduct,” the woman’s husband and children told the police.

Local police inspector Shailesh Kumar said the woman mostly targets passengers travelling by bus or auto, adding she had many cases registered with various police stations in the state.

Kumar said the woman first entered the world of crime in 2010 and since then several criminal cases were registered with various police stations in 2011, 2014, 2015 2016 and 2021.