He’s a suspect in 1,000 burglaries and 17 cases of arson. He never repeats his clothes, prays hard and loves women. He’s escaped six times in two years.
The police can’t arrest their violent, hard-living quarry. This reporter can’t even name him on the lam.
Sharad Kumar — as we’ll call him — is 17, a self-confessed burglar since age 10. Since he’s not an adult, he can’t be charged. His previous escape was five days ago.
“In six months we have apprehended him thrice,” said H.G.S. Dhaliwal, deputy commissioner of police (south). “The rest’s up to the juvenile justice authorities.”
So, if they get him again, the police can only return him to the juvenile home he fled from in northwest Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar.
Kumar, the police said, follows a set pattern:
n First, prays to Shani dev, the elder brother of Yama, the god of death.
n Next, burgles everything — even ghee — from south Delhi government homes.
n Sets the house on fire.
Each time he’s caught, he boasts to the police that he will strike soon, said an officer requesting anonymity. The last time, he robbed a house in Sarojini Nagar three days after his escape.