A group of quick-footed thieves striking unsuspecting passersby in Karol Bagh’s jewellery market to rob them of their valuables within a matter of just four minutes, while the Delhi Police is yet to bust the gang.
Their swift modus operandi involves the gang, consisting of at least 7-8 members, forcing the victim into a narrow crevice on the road formed by one of them parking their car accordingly on the middle of a busy street.
Other members surround the victim so that he or she has no space to move. And before the victim decides how to get out of the block, the gang steals the valuables. The thieves make off with the jewellery before the victim realises his belongings are missing.
HT accessed a CCTV footage of the Arya Samaj Mandir Road market, where thieves struck twice within four minutes at the same spot on the afternoon of December 26. Police have filed an FIR, but are yet to make any arrests.
The footage shows the jewel thieves using the same modus operandi in both cases.
A Swift car is parked on the middle of the road. Once the gang decides on a victim, one of the accused wearing a white shirt is caught signalling his aides to go near the car.
The others block the victim’s way and he is cornered in the space formed by the car. And within a few seconds, as the blockade clears, the thieves steal the man’s bag containing around 200 grams of gold worth Rs 5 lakh.
Exactly four minutes later at the same spot, the gang executes the operation again. A man is seen parking his Swift car on the middle of the road and leaving.
The same man, in a white shirt, comes near the car and signals when he spots the second victim.
Then, the man in white, along with others, runs towards the car to block the victim’s way and push him against the car door. Within seconds, the second victim has also lost his jewellery.
One of the men is even seen pocketing the loot.
A minute later, the driver of the Swift car takes to the wheel and flees the spot. Sandeep Mandal, one of the victims, told police in his statement that on December 26 he was returning to his shop with around 170 grams of gold jewellery.
“It was in my pocket. I did not realise anything then. A car stopped in front of me and there was no place for me to walk. Later I realised that the gold in my pocket was missing,” said Mandal.
Deputy commissioner of police (central) Parmaditya said the police was conducting investigations and working on leads. He also said the police were in regular touch with Market Welfare Association regarding the market security.
Police have planned to install around 7,000 CCTV cameras at the market.
“We have conducted a security audit and will also have public announcement systems in the market. Our officers will make regular announcements warning shoppers and commuters about thieves,” he said.