Police on Saturday busted a gang of thieves who allegedly tricked people into handing over their mobile phones and arrested two men from Lado Sarai in south Delhi.
The accused were identified as Mohammed Feroz, 38, and Mohammed Sajid, 31, both residents of Bawana.
The thieves, notorious as the ‘challa gang’, allegedly tapped into the greed of people by throwing a cheap gold-plated ring on the road to dupe passersby.
The arrests have led to a breakthrough in six crimes of similar nature.
Police, however, said there could be more victims who would have reported only about their stolen mobile phones without mentioning how, since that would have exposed their greed.
South DCP Ishwar Singh said the gang used to operate in groups of three or four. The modus operandi was to throw a gold-plated ring (challa) on the road and then stand near it in search of a soft target.
As soon as they spotted a passerby, members of the gang approached him asking if the ring belonged to him. The greed for the ring compelled some passersby to stake claim and hang around, when another of the thieves would appear and claim the ring.
On most occasions, the ownership issue would escalate into a quarrel between the target and the cheats.
In the heat of the discussion, one of the cheats would threaten to call the police and pull out his mobile phone. He would then say his phone does not have balance to make a call, and borrow the victim’s mobile phone. The others would keep the target engaged in the quarrel.
“The one with the mobile phone would then quietly slip away. Seconds later, others would also scram, saying the victim could keep the ring. By the time the victim realised that his phone was stolen, all the cheats would be out of sight, leaving him with a worthless piece of metal,” Singh said.