They love tattoos, body piercing, branded clothes, drugs, slick hairstyles, pretty girlfriends, and South Delhi. homes.
Meet the ‘burn and burgle’ (B&B) gang. A week after the notorious 17-and-a-half-year-old juvenile burglar-cum-arsonist-cum-gang leader Sonu (name changed) escaped with 16 other juvenile offenders from a juvenile observation home for the sixth time, cases of burglary and arson have resurfaced on Delhi’s crime map.
Northwest Delhi: New target
On Sunday, in a first-of-a-kind incident in northwest Delhi, a senior government official's vacant residence was burgled and set ablaze. So far, only South Delhi homes had borne the B&B brunt.
What’s more, the gang has now graduated from burglaries to motor vehicle thefts.
With one of the members eloping with a girl, leading to a case of kidnapping being registered at Sarojini Nagar Police Station, the gang is seemingly also wading into the abduction front.
According to Delhi Police, the lynchpin, Sonu, is a suspect in more than 1,000 cases of burglaries and 20 cases of arson.
The police believe Sonu recruits people who are just like him — abandoned by their families. The gang is also into drug abuse and gambling, police claim.
“When they are out of the juvenile home they are either hooked to thinner fluid or alcohol. They love branded clothes and have girlfriends," said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
He added that tired of Sonu's thieving ways recently, one of his girlfriends dumped him.
The Lodhi Colony Police and the Sarojini Nagar Police almost simultaneously caught two of Sonu's accomplices recently.
“One of them had tried to elope with an underage girl who was later recovered from East Delhi. Both have a number of girlfriends,” the officer added.
Their love for tattoos can be gauged from the fact that almost all have at least one piece of body art, he said.
“Sonu flaunts a tattoo of ‘Shakaal’ — a character from the movie Shaan — and several other tattoos on his body. He even sports a eyebrow piercing and looks like a college student,” added the officer.