A gang of thieves, all women, who allegedly gatecrashed into lavish weddings dressed as guests and stole cash and valuables has been busted. Four persons, including three women, were arrested on Monday, police said.
Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police (crime), said three women were assisted by an auto driver, who used to drive them to the venues. They committed more than 100 thefts at weddings in Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida.
The gang mostly targeted high-profile weddings organised at banquet halls, farmhouses and hotels. One such theft was reported from Hotel Lalit at Barakhamba Road, said Yadav.
The four suspects -- auto driver Satish Yadav, Rano, Varsha and Manisha -- were nabbed from Ashok Vihar in the morning when they were escaping after striking at a wedding.
A bag containing stolen cash of Rs32,000, new branded clothes and accessories purchased especially for weddings was recovered from them.
Over the last few months, many cases of thefts of valuables were reported from banquet halls, hotels and farmhouses during weddings. In some cases, CCTV footage showed glimpses of the suspects.
A team of Inter State Cell (ISC) of the crime branch comprising ACP Sanjay Sehrawat and DCP (Crime) Madhur Verma analysed video footages and deployed sources at places where they could strike.
“It was seen that the women took precautions to ensure they weren’t captured in the cameras. They avoided cameras, photographers and videographers,” said Yadav.
They spent considerable time at the venues to familiarise themselves with the surroundings. They were dressed in wedding finery and mingled with the crowd well.
They then zeroed in on the persons who kept the gift envelopes and other valuables, police said. The gang took advantage of the confusion over who belonged to the bride’s or the groom’s family..
“The women remained inconspicuous even while seated next to the bride or the groom during late night rituals attended mostly by close family members. When they got a chance, they would flee with the valuables,” said Yadav. The auto driver waited outside the venue and was paid R 2,000 for every night for the last one month.
The arrested women belong to Gulkheri village in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. The police claimed there are gangs from the village that stole at weddings. Police may visit the village to get more details.
The women used to rent a house for a month or two in a city before moving out. During daytime they used to take rest and in the night, they used to venture out to commit thefts.