CCTV footage, tech surveillance lead cops to man who stole top home ministry officials laptop
The home ministry official himself assisted the Delhi police in the probe, leading investigators to CCTV footage and alerting them about the possibility of the thief accessing a Microsoft account running on the workstation.delhi Updated: Apr 15, 2017 23:47 IST
Camera (CCTV) footage and technical analysis of a laptop and desktop computer stolen from a senior home ministry official’s Hauz Khas home late last week led to the arrest of a 27-year-old Nigerian man on Saturday. He has been identified as Mohammad Ali Aawal .
The home ministry official himself assisted the police in the probe, leading investigators to CCTV footage and alerting them about the possibility of the thief accessing a Microsoft account running on the workstation.
A team comprising 18 police personnel from four police stations was constituted to crack the case and recover the stolen gadgets that were feared to be holding high-security and confidential information.
The home ministry official had approached the police after noticing that his desktop, a laptop and some cash was missing from his Hauz Khas home on the intervening night of April 8 and 9.
Even as the police were looking for clues, the complainant alerted them about a CCTV camera installed two buildings away from the crime spot.
The footage obtained from the camera showed a man checking the locks on some doors of the houses. “The man, who appeared to be an African, was speaking over the phone while moving around suspiciously,” said Chinmoy Biswal, Additional DCP (South).
The complainant also informed the police about a Microsoft account running on his computer. Keeping a watch on any activity on the account, the police realised that the workstation had been switched on in E-Block of Chhatarpur Extension, almost 24 hours after the theft.
In the meantime, the same police team simultaneously probing another theft in Mehrauli in late March came across CCTV footage in that case. The thief in this case bore a striking resemblance to the one in the high-profile case.
The footage further showed that the thief had boarded an auto after the crime. The auto driver was traced over the next couple of days and he told police he had dropped the man in the E-Block of Chhatarpur Extension.
Almost certain that it was the same man in the two thefts, police focused their investigation to Chhatarpur Extension before finally swooping down on him on Saturday.
Presented with evidence, the suspect allegedly confessed to his crime and produced the Lenovo workstation, HP laptop, Dell laptop and other items allegedly stolen by him. He was subsequently arrested.
He has told police he arrived in India in 2015 and is pursuing BBA from Mahatma Gandhi University in Meghalaya through a distance learning program. “We are verifying his academic credentials,” said Biswal.