Son of a DTC bus driver, he wanted to get rich quick. And thought the shortest route was a cop’s uniform. Twenty-four-year-old Dinesh Rathi, a school dropout, got himself a constable’s khakis, a getaway car and a button-operated knife and set out to make money.
Rathi, who got married nine months ago, would leave his home at west Delhi’s Nangloi area every night, pick a lonely spot on an interstate highway and flag down truckers.
The rest was easy — just a flick of the knife.
“Rathi was arrested near Mongolpuri — only a few kilometres from his home — on Sunday night while travelling in his Maruti Esteem car to dispose of more than three tonne of pesticides in 157 cartons he had looted in May,” said BS Jaiswal, deputy commissioner of Delhi Police (outer).
On Sunday, Rathi was on his way to his secret warehouse in Najafgarh in west Delhi where he had stored all his stolen goods — from pesticides to baked coffee beans.
The police claimed to have recovered goods worth more than Rs20 lakh so far. “Wanted in as many as 16 cases across three states, Rathi and his associates had even looted two mini trucks carrying 56 bags of Café Coffee Day’s coffee mixture in February,” Jaiswal said.
According to the police, Rathi began dabbling in criminal in 2002 when he was fifteen, with an attempted murder to settle a land dispute at Bahadurgarh in Haryana. Jaiswal said he was arrested for the first time along with some of his associates at Dausa in Rajasthan a year later. As soon as he was released in 2005, he confessed to have taken part in several back-to-back highway robberies.