He aspired to sleep in an air-conditioned room, but his home didn’t have any. He wished to drive flashy sedans, but couldn’t afford one.
Born into a lower middle-class family, Amrit Singh, a 19-year-old east Delhi resident, found an answer to his aspirations when he was barely 12. He took to stealing car batteries and parts, gradually graduating to the whole vehicle.
Amrit, who called himself Don, was arrested on Wednesday evening in east Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar after he was caught on CCTV footage stealing a car in the neighbourhood recently.
The police team that arrested the teenager said he stole because he loved driving at night, and after a joyride he parked the car by the roadside and slept with the air-conditioner on.
He was picky as well, preferring Honda City cars — six of which were recovered from him along with a scooter. He operated in west Delhi, far from his home.
“He was a good student till class 5, but fell into bad company. I am surprised he drives such expensive cars. At home, he used to trouble me to buy him a Rs 5 sachet of washing powder,” mother Harjinder Kaur said.
Amrit found money to buy petrol for his joyrides and sleepovers by selling stolen scooters, and once he got bored of driving a car, he abandoned it and stole another, DCP (East) Rishipal said.
“He roamed with his friends the whole night and slept inside a car because he couldn’t sleep without an air-conditioner, a luxury his parents can’t afford.”
The teenager is a serial offender with 16 theft cases against his name in the Capital. He was arrested last December and released on August 8.
He had implored his mother to bail him out of jail, promising he would never steal again. His parents, who live in a modest two-room house, too begged him to mend his ways, as did his neighbours. But he didn’t listen.