Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested the last absconding accomplice of three attackers who failed in their bank robbery attempt on Monday, and said the unemployed youth graduated themselves from purse snatching to bank robberies to fulfil their growing needs and desires.
Mohammed Ishtyak, 24, Majid, 21, and Ahmed Shaheed, 24 - all residents of Meerut - were arrested after a brief shootout with the police Monday afternoon for making an attempt to rob Central Bank of India's Kalkaji branch in Krishna Market of south Delhi.
Two policemen, Ashok and Vikram, and tea vendor Raj Kumar were injured in the shootout. The police managed to overpower two of the robbers after a brief shootout. Later, Shaheed was arrested near a temple in Kalkaji and their absconding accomplice Kirnapal was arrested Tuesday.
Retired Delhi University professor MK Kapoor, 75, who was also in the bank at the time of incident, showed exemplary courage and caught hold of one of the assailants, who, however, managed to escape later.
The police would now be recommending the names of Kapoor, injured police officers and Raj Kumar for rewards befitting the bravery shown by them.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southeast Delhi) Ajay Chaudhary said the accused had no legal means of livelihood.
"They started committing petty thefts and purse snatchings but that did not fulfil their needs. From the amount they received by snatching purses and chains, they purchased sophisticated weapons. Later on, they started looting people who withdrew large amounts of money from banks," Chaudhary said.
"They made their base in Meerut and after every incident of snatching or robbery they used to return there. Once they spent the booty, they would come back to Delhi on their motorbikes for fresh snatchings and robberies," Chaudhary added.
The police said kingpin Ishtyak has studied up to Class 5 and sold small items in Malaviya Nagar and Hauz Khas areas. He was aware of the topography of south Delhi.
Chaudhary said in order to fulfil his growing financial requirements, Ishtyak started petty thefts and snatching. "Subsequently his demands grew and he started committing bank robberies."
"Majid and Shaheed, both school dropouts, came in contact with Ishtyak and started looting banks with him."
The police said two of them would visit banks and check security arrangements, security guards and CCTVs. Once they found out that the security arrangements were inadequate, two of them entered the bank and kept an eye on the people withdrawing large amount in cash.
They would follow their targets and rob them either in the bank itself or outside it at gunpoint.
Chaudhary said they had robbed a person of Rs 550,000 outside Uco Bank's Hauz Khas branch and also robbed Rs 281,000 from UCO Bank's Malaviya Nagar branch last year.