New Delhi: Bollywood actor John Abraham was their idol and bikes their passion. Inspired by their onscreen hero, this gang rented a bike with nitro-boost cylinders to ensure a speedy escape after committing a robbery. Police said one of the accused was trained to drive the bike at high speed.
The men, involved in over 65 cases of snatching and robbery, were arrested on July 6.
Pintu Sharma had acted in TV show, Savdhaan India, and street plays, before he met the other gang members. Savdhaan India is a popular crime series that shows real life incidents, advising viewers to exercise caution.
Pintu, the police said, got small roles in a few episodes. He was arrested along with his associates Sonu Singh, Sandeep Singh and Deepu Seth. The three have several cases of snatching registered against them. A jeweller named Shamba ji, who bought the snatched gold chains from them was also arrested.
Police said they started tracking the gang after the number of snatchings and robberies rose in parts of north west Delhi. A special team was deployed to identify the gang members and find out their hideouts.
The only information the police had was that they rode on a motorcycle and targeted people wearing gold ornaments. They would snatch the jewellery and zoom past, before the victim realised what had happened. For the purpose, they had hired a modified Karizma motorcycle, police said.
During the operation, the police team laid traps in Model Town and checked the CCTV footage.
“On analysing the CCTV footage, they found that the gang drove a white bike with a ‘Chacha Chaudhary’ sticker on the number plate. They also found the pillion rider wore a white helmet with tri-coloured stripes. We then launched intensive searches keeping these details in mind,” DCP (northwest) Vijay Singh said.
On July 6, the police team spotted the white bike on Model Town II red light and the men were signalled to stop. Sensing trouble, the biker tried to flee but were overpowered by the team. “The biker was identified as Sonu Singh, who has 28 cases of snatching and robbery registered against him.
“Shambha ji, who procured the jewellery and melted it to sell it further, was also arrested. On their instance, the other three members of the gang were also apprehended. Teams are working to arrest Preet,” Singh said.
During questioning, the police found that Pintu Sharma and Sonu Singh were the bikers. The other two, Deepu Seth and Preet, followed them on a scooty. Pintu would snatch the chain and flee. The men on the scooty would ensure the victim didn’t identify the duo.
“We have recovered the bike and the scooty from them and are probing their roles in other cases. We have sent information to other police stations in the district. The gang may be involved in more such cases. The cost of gold they snatched has not yet been ascertained,” an investigator said.