A government employee’s south Delhi residence was burgled before being set ablaze by a gang of unidentified burglers when its occupants were away. Police suspect a juvenile gang led by a 17-year-old to be behind the incident.
The gang’s leader recently maanged to escape from a correction home two weeks ago. This was his fourth breakout from the home.
The 25-member gang is reported to have been involved in more than 1,500 thefts and burglaries in prominent south Delhi neighbourhoods like Laxmi Bai Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Kotla Mubarakpur, R.K. Puram and East Kidwai Nagar.
Police say, this time the incident allegedly took place at Parvesh Soni’s (57) two-storey residence at Laxmi Bai Nagar early on Tuesday morning.
“We believe the burglary took place around 4 am. We were informed about it around 6 am,” said a senior police officer.
Police say, Rs 20,000 in cash, jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh and edible items such as vegetables, pulses and dairy products were taken from the house.
Police said Soni—the government quarters’ lone resident—was at her relatives’ place when the incident took place.
“Since her son is away, she was spending the night at her brother-in-law’s neighbouring residence,” said Bharat Bharadwaj (32), Soni’s son-in-law and a resident of R.K. Puram.
Parvesh had been living in the government-allotted house since 2004.
Soni got to know of the fire Early on Tuesday morning, when a neighbour called her. She rushed back to see her house engulfed in flames. “It seems the burglars were aware that the house was locked, but empty,” said the officer.
“During investigation it was revealed that three locks, carefully locked by Soni before she left home, had been broken by the assailants,” said the officer.
Police said the assailants had then broken the locks to the home’s cupboard and locker.
“Since the bed was completely charred, we believe it was the first item in the house to be set afire,” added the officer.
Police said they have registered a case of theft at the Sarojini Nagar Police Station.
“We have also detained two juveniles who failed to prove their identity. They were confronted during the evening patrolling,” added the officer.