They were among the best dressed in the market. Their fellow vendors envied their ‘style’ as the trio went around selling fruits and vegetables dressed in Levis jeans and Polo shirts.
Little did they know that the trio — Sardar Valli Khan (36), Mohammad Nasim (21) and Phool Miyan (19) — were burglars, who had taken up day jobs as fruit vendors to build an alibi for themselves.
Delhi police on Saturday arrested the three men, all residents of Badaun in UP, and claimed to have solved six burglary cases reported from south Delhi.
Thirty stolen mobile phones, recharge coupons, nine expensive designer dresses and some tools used to break into houses and shops were recovered from them.
“There was a rise in the number of incidents of burglaries around Masoodpur Market, Rangpuri and Mahipalpur and we formed a special team to apprehend the gang. Vigil was increased in these area, especially at night, and we talked to our sources to help crack the cases,” DCP south, Ishwar Singh said.
He added: “A police team came across some fruit vendors who lived a lavish life that couldn’t possibly have been supported by their source of income. The police team developed intelligence and found that one of the suspects, Mohammad Nasim, wore expensive clothes he could not have possibly brought from his income. We brought him for questioning and he admitted to have stolen the clothes from a showroom.”
An FIR was registered and eight customized sherwanis, 20 coats, 25 pants, 50 shirts worth `2 lakh he had stolen from different showrooms were recovered.
Mohammad Nasim admitted he was a fruit vendor in front of a showroom in Mahipalpur near Vasant Kunj and he really liked the clothes sported on the mannequins. He said he kept a watch on the movements of the owner. At night after the market shut down, he used to revisit the area and carry out the theft. In another incident, a CCTV footage caught Sardar Valli Khan, Nasim and Phool Miyan coming out of a second showroom with stolen goods. “On Nasim’s instance, Valli Khan and Phool Miyan were arrested,” Singh said.
The men used to hang out in front of showrooms in the garb of fruit vendors and kept a track on the movement of the owners. At night the men used to carry out the thefts and transport the stolen articles to Badaun, police said.