In order to get to the bottom of things, the cops ordered a “basketful” of bananas—four dozen to be exact—and forced the jewelry snatcher to eat them all.
The banana is a secret weapon.
Not just for athletes, who have begun substituting meat protein with the long yellow fruit, but also for law enforcement.
And while the ten-banana smoothie being ingested by high-level athletes is impressive, it pales in comparison to the amount being consumed by low-level thieves in the Mumbai area who make the mistake of swallowing incriminating evidence.
Last week, after 25-year-old Gopi R. Ghaware stole a woman's 25 gram gold chain in the Ghatkopar fish market in Mumbai's eastern suburbs, he was chased by locals who had heard the victim's screams, pinned down, and beaten, The Hindustan Times reported.
But his punishment did not end there. Somewhere between snatching the necklace and the ensuing chase/beatdown, Ghaware swallowed the chain in an attempt to hide the evidence, albeit temporarily.
When he was taken into custody, police officers from the nearby Pant Nagar Police Station wasted no time in bringing their chief suspect to the hospital for X-rays where they eventually confirmed the presence of a metallic object in the man's stomach—presumably the recently-ingested gold chain.
The X-ray evidence was soon corroborated by a confession, and that's when the Pant Nagar Police realized that there was only one way to really know for sure whether the metal in Ghaware's belly was the same that had been around his victim's neck.
Shortly after, they administered an alternative means of obtaining evidence, and it involved bananas. A lot of bananas.
In order to get to the bottom of things, the cops ordered a "basketful" of bananas—four dozen to be exact—and forced the jewelry snatcher to eat them all.
"Early on Friday, he was escorted to the loo by four policemen, who also filmed the morning ablution as the chain finally slithered out of Ghaware's system," the Hindustan Times reported. As if that weren't enough humiliation for the young thief, arresting officers then made him clean the necklace with disinfectant before bringing him into custody.
Surprisingly, or perhaps, not so surprisingly, given the apparent efficacy of the banana technique in this case, this isn't the first time that Mumbai police have resorted to it.
In April, police forced another man to eat 60 bananas, as well as milk and antacids, in order to excrete a 63,000-rupee ($995) gold chain that he had stolen from a woman, the BBC reported. The suspect in that case, Anil Yadav, was also subjected to four enemas and an X-ray, all of which confirmed (beyond a reasonable doubt) the presence of the stolen jewelry in his bowels.
Still, from a law enforcement perspective, the added punitive value of force-feeding bananas to thieves might provide a real disincentive to would-be necklace thieves.