The desire for a lavish lifestyle is what lured the mastermind in the Rs 1.34 crore dacoity in SAS Nagar to enter the world of crime.
A former IAS aspirant, Ranpreet Singh, 35, belongs to a middle-class family of Khera Gaju village in Banur. While his father is an audit officer with the accountant general Punjab, his mother is the principal of a government school. Youngest in his family, his three sisters are working as college lecturers.
Having completed his bachelor of technology (BTech) from Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Sangrur, in 2007, Ranpreet started training for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) exam.
Besides preparing for the IAS, he worked as a sales officer at Sudhir Generator Company in SAS Nagar, and later started working as a distributor for Herbalife, a global nutrition and weight management company, at Mataur village in SAS Nagar.
As he prepared for the exam for over two years, he got hooked to news reports of robberies and devised ways to make easy money through crime.
He did take the IAS exam twice, once even clearing the preliminary examination, but failed to pass the mains. Dejected by his failure, he finally stepped into the world of crime in 2009.
He entailed a couple of men in his gang and started committing burglaries in SAS Nagar and nearby areas. But ended up in police net and was jailed in 2009. While behind the bars, he involved more men, all school dropouts, to expand his network.
Once out on bail, he fell into the trap of drugs and became an addict, while continuing to commit burglaries, leading to registration of seven cases against him.
During interrogation, Ranpreet revealed that he was fed up with burglaries, which did not bring along large booty, and planned to rob a bank’s cash van to fulfil his desire for branded clothes and high-end cars.
With the 1.34 crore looted from the van, he also wanted to buy sophisticated weapons to expand his network further and establish ‘his name’.