Bound to go down in history as the ‘Defence Colony Job’, the robbery’s brazenness and meticulous planning is being likened to ‘The Italian Job’ — one of the most popular heist movies of all times. And investigators may have just a single shot at cracking it.
Police said they are on a desperate lookout for a car, which they refused to describe due to investigation purposes, that a lone eyewitness claimed to have seen moving behind the ill-fated Eeco car.
“According to the eyewitness, this car was parked next to the robbers’ Verna car. When the heist was over and the assailants sped away and so did this vehicle,” said an officer.
Police said the suspect car was apparently occupied by three men and its rear was laden with what looked like dirty blankets. Interestingly, when the Eeco car was found abandoned at the Haus Rani village, it was found tucked below a large, dirty blanket.
A cash replenishment agency vehicle, carrying Rs. 5.25 crore in cash, was waylaid and looted in a brazen hold-up in a busy south Delhi locality merely a kilometre away from a police station in daylight. Eyewitnesses account said that seven to eight armed men carried out the heist.
The vehicle, a Maruti Suzuki Eeco had been hired by the agency to take the cash to an ICICI bank cash storage facility in Lajpat Nagar’s C block. Investigators later found out that the cab did not have a Global Positioning System (GPS).
“The getaway seems to have been the most meticulously-planned bit of the entire heist,” said an officer. “We have reasons to suspect that the car which was last seen following the hijacked Eeco was supposed to act both as an alternative getaway vehicle as well as an escort.”
“A forensic team has examined the crime scene and a case of robbery has been registered at the Defence Colony Police Station,” said Vivek Gogia, joint commissioner of police (southwest range).