Delhi police on Friday busted a gang of pickpockets and arrested three men, who operated in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and targeted passengers. But seven others, including the gang leader, managed to flee.
The arrested persons were identified as Kunwar Pal, Pankaj alias Kanchari, and Pramod Kumar. Police recovered six stolen mobile phones, two button-activated knives, a Swift car and three two-wheelers from them.
Police said they received three back-to-back complaints of pick-pocketing from passengers, whose mobile phones and cash were stolen from different DTC buses near Sangam Vihar area.
During investigation, the police learnt that a gang operated in DTC buses on routes between Badarpur and Bhogal, Nehru Place and Mehrauli and Badarpur and Dhaula Kuan. Following a tip-off that the suspects would assemble for another crime near Batra Cinema, a team led by SHO Upender Singh laid a trap.
“They arrived in a car and three two-wheelers. We caught three of them, while others managed to flee,” Singh said.
He said the gang used to operate in a professional manner. The members had unique code names and specified tasks to perform. The one named ‘machine’ or ‘Rani’ would cut the victim’s pocket using a razor blade and steal wallets, mobile phones and cash, while 2-4 members with code names ‘Theekbaaz (pusher)’ will provide a cover for him. They stood around the victim and distracted his attention by constantly pushing him in the crowded bus.
Other members of the gang, including the kingpin who was titled ‘Raja’, would follow the bus in cars and two-wheelers. They were named ‘Bitbaaz (shadow)’.
“Their task is to shadow Rani and pushers, and attack the victim in the bus if they resisted. They would carry knives, baseball bats and hockey sticks to tackle emergency situations,” said a police officer.
Police said the gang was involved in 100 cases of pick-pocketing and attack on people with blades and blunt objects. The members used the ill-gotten money to feed their lavish lifestyles and girlfriends.
Pal was previously involved in 21 cases, while Pankaj and Pramod had committed 13 and seven crimes respectively.