In four separate incidents, in a span of less than 17 hours, criminals played havoc with lives of residents in Noida and Ghaziabad and escaped with valuables worth an estimated Rs 35 lakh.
While two day light incidents took place in Noida Sector-18 and Sector-41 areas, the other two occurred at night in Ghaziabad.
Around Rs 22 lakh were stolen from the security cash-van outside the Deustche Bank in Noida Sector-18 area at 12.30 pm on Friday by criminals who distracted the guard by placing several currency notes on the road, police said.
"While the two employees were inside the ATM, Rajvir Singh, the guard, remained inside the van and was distracted by criminals who had placed Rs 10 currency notes on the road," said Noida DSP RN Mishra. Mishra said police were investigating the role of company staff in the incident.
Roughly two hours later, at 2 pm, seven armed robbers struck at a house in Noida Sector-41 and robbed cash and jewellery worth over Rs 5 lakh, police said.
"Seven robbers held the family members at gun point and robbed cash around Rs 40,000 and other gold and diamond jewellery worth over Rs 5 lakh, during their stay of over 45 minutes," DSP Mishra said.
The spate of robberies continued, this time in Ghaziabad. At 11 pm on Thursday night, four unidentified armed robbers struck the house of Ashwini Khanna at the Shalimar Garden extension area of Ghaziabad, and fled with Rs 90,000 in cash and jewellery, police said.
"The estimated value of robbed valuables is around Rs 3 lakh," Khanna said.
In yet another instance, the dreaded Kaccha Baniyan gang-members struck in the Narayanpur Madaiya area near NH-24 area at 2.45 am, robbed five houses and escaped with valuables worth over Rs 2 lakh.
"We have issued instructions to senior police officials in both districts to identify the gangs involved in these instances. The gang in Noida sector-41 robbery is new and not on our records. We will shortly identify and track down all criminals involved," said Chandra Prakash, IG, Meerut Range.