Nabbed for their alleged role in 250-300 cases of snatching and robbery, including the brazen crime at Moolchand Flyover that left a beautician with brain injuries, the three accused stayed off police net for over 18 months with the help of detailed planning.
Also into stunt biking, the trio of Rahul, Habib and their minor accomplice, got rid of their KTM Duke motorcycle when it came to snatching. “They have said they fell off the Duke motorcycle on two-three occasions while escaping. So they went for a high-end bike as they say it was more comfortable,” said Nupur Prasad, DCP (Shahdara).
While they distributed among themselves the task of executing the snatching, the planning was left entirely to the 17-year-old gang member who dropped out of school in Class 9.
So, the minor snatcher would decide the location of snatching and the getaway route. “They would never return to the same snatching spot again. So, their area of operation spread from Ghaziabad in UP to Geeta Colony and Krishna Nagar in East Delhi, ITO and Farsh Bazar in Central Delhi and parts of South Delhi,” said a senior investigator.
Since the snatchers considered themselves capable of leaving behind the fastest of the motor vehicles if chased, they did not even wear helmets while committing the crimes. A fake number plate, bearing the words ‘meri raani’ (my queen), put up on their motorcycle, did little to help police trace them.
“The gang would particularly target people who appeared rich. That helped them make more money in one go,” said an investigator. To dispose of the mobile phones stolen by them, they had befriended some people who could unlock the phones or buy them.
With credit or debit cards they snatched from people, they were often lucky as they found the PINs written on the card covers, said the DCP, advising the public against revealing the PIN this way.
While their plan varied from situation to situation, the schedule that remained constant was visiting a disco with their girlfriends at the end of every successful day. “During interrogation the accused said we would never have been able to catch them if they had not briefly lowered their guard just after meeting their girlfriends,” said an investigator.