On Sunday night, as the police fanned across south Delhi in search of a gang of robbers who had shot a 19-year-old girl a night ago, the group of five were scouring the streets for another hit.
Fearless, they even went back to the Moti Bagh neighbourhood they’d left in a hurry after shooting the teenager, who’d raised an alarm after catching them robbing an electronics store. The girl is recovering.
Arrested on Tuesday, the men told the police they left Moti Bagh after finding heavy police presence there and headed for Mehrauli, where they robbed two men of Rs 2,000 in a failed attempt to take their car. Cases have been registered in both incidents and some others, said the police.
The five men, between 19 and 26 years old, were picked up from Ghaziabad. The leader, is involved in 60 cases, 31 of which were committed after he was released from jail in November, officials said.
With their arrest, the police claimed to have cracked 30 cases.
The gang was also involved in stealing cars, using a motorcycle key to break into them. They had a preference for the Honda City due to its sturdy body, and used this model during their robberies too.
“They attached one end of an iron chain with hooks to the Honda City and the other to the handle of the shop’s shutter. They then used the force of the car to break open the shutter,” said joint commissioner of police (southeast) RS Krishnia.
Six stolen Honda City cars were recovered from them. The police expect to get more as the gang claimed to have stolen 10 such cars from one area — Malviya Nagar — alone.
“They’d drive from Ghaziabad to Saket and wait at a 24X7 outlet of PVR Saket till late at night, keeping an eye on the police’s night patrol team. The moment they sensed lowered police presence, they’d sneak into neighbouring Malviya Nagar and steal Honda City cars,” said Krishnia.