The Bombay police have come in for some unfair criticism over the spate of bank robberies in the city. Actually, they are doing a reasonably good job and have already arrested some of the robbers. The only trouble is that they do not know who is what robber.
I will give an example:
This morning, a senior officer, greatly excited, met the police commissioner and said: "Sir, we have done it, senior inspector Girish Dikshit, accompanied by sub-inspectors R. Vernekar and M. Shirodkar have apprehended the bank robbers."
"That is good news, indeed," said the police commissioner. "My congratulations to the men for having apprehended within 48 hours the robbers of the Ghatkopar branch of the Maharashtra Bank."
The officer hesitated for a moment, then said: "Excuse me, sir, they are not the robbers of the bank robbed day-before-yesterday, they are the Andheri bank robbers. Or at least, one of them is, one of the others is the Bandra bank robber, though he could be of the Kurla bank."
"I see, you have arrested the members of all the bank robbery gangs," said the commissioner. "That is smart work by the Bombay police, I will personally compliment them."
"I don't think it is all the gangs," the officer said. "Our officers are in terrogating them and we are still trying to establish whether one of them was involved in the Shivaji Park bank robbery of the Vile Parle bank robbery or in both. Then again, he may have been associated only with Chembur bank robbery."
"Well, carry on with the interrogations," the commissioner said. "And convey to all the men my congratulations for having achieved a breakthrough in the bank robbery investigations."
"The men will be very happy to hear that, sir," the officer said. "I would also like to inform you that one of the suspects picked up is believed to be involved in a daring daylight robbery right under the noses of the police."
"Not until we have established whether accused No. 1 is involved with bank robbery No 3 or 7, and accused No. 2 is involved with bank robbery No. 4, 5, 6 or 9 or all of them. There is also accused No.3, who we strongly suspect of being responsible for bank robbery No. 1 and possibly also No.2, but he claims he came on the scene only with bank robber No. 8, the Vile Parle one, you know. All we need is a little more time, we will sort it out."
"Fine," said the commissioner, "but what do we do till then?"
"We could release the names of senior inspector Dikshit, sub-inspectors Vernekar and Rodrigues and Constable P. M. Shirodkar to the press for publications," said the officer. "Smart detective work and all that…"