After 1,000 burglaries, he wants a profession change | delhi | Hindustan Times
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After 1,000 burglaries, he wants a profession change

delhi Updated: May 04, 2012 00:42 IST
Jatin Anand

After a decade-long career in the world of crime, more than a thousand burglaries and countless escape bids to his 'credit' and half a dozen tattoos proclaiming his criminal ferocity on his body, the 20-year-old leader of the dreaded 'firebrand gang' wants to change tracks.

Sanju, whose 'burn-and-burgle' antics began at the age of 10 and gave the south district police sleepless nights ever since, was arrested for the second time since he became a major, on Sunday.

With tattoos such as 'darinda' (demon), 'denger' and 16-legged spider tattoos adorning his right wrist, he squatted inside the Sarojini Nagar Police Station and admitted that he was feeling more or less 'at home'.

In lock up for his alleged involvement in five back-to-back burglaries in Sarojini Nagar - his preferred hunting ground - he was visibly excited when Hindustan Times dropped-by for a chat. And he made sure to quickly brush and wash before he met the 'mediawallah'.

"It wasn't five (houses); I can't remember how many burglaries we did, but you know how cops are; and how they attribute fictitious crimes to me because they hate me so much," he said, matter-of-factly and, seemingly, in high spirits.

That, however, an officer would later tell this reporter, was not the case.

Described as a 'seasoned burglar with a fetish for arson' and alleged to be behind 1,500 to 2,000 burglaries at locked government flats, this is Sanju's second run-in with the law after attaining the age of 18.

The boy who broke out of juvenile observation homes with dozens of his gang members at least thrice, had first been arrested on February 12 last year - as soon as he became an adult.

"They had actually caught me in November; and then they just waited for me to turn 18, for your information," he alleged.

"It's all because of my father; he drove me to this kind of life. He would drink and beat my sister after my mother died. I fell in bad company, got addicted to drugs, started stealing because I liked gambling and here I am."

Bad company, in Sanju's context according to the police, meant the 25 to 30-member gang composed of both majors and minors alike, that he used to lead until just two years ago.

According to police, he would help empty juvenile observation homes in his heyday.