A gang of ‘slingshot thieves’ has been targeting unsuspecting people at popular tourist destinations Khajuraho and Orchha of late.
The signature — gang members visit four-wheeler parking areas at sight-seeing spots, whip out their slingshots and aim for car windows from a distance. If the owner of the vehicle is not alerted by the act, they reach for the valuables inside the car through the shattered glass and escape.
Those giving the two towns a bad name are ‘tourists’ themselves. A source in the police department said the thieves belonged to Maharashtra’s Jalgaon.
On November 4, a family that was visiting from Bilaspur left their vehicle at an authorised parking in Khajuraho; they found the window glass of the car broken and a bag with valuables missing from inside the vehicle when they returned, according to a police official. On November 10, a family from Lucknow lost three smartphones and two handbags in a similar incident at a parking at the western group of temples.
In another incident on Thursday last week, a group of tourists from Haryana was robbed of valuables in Khajuraho in the Chhatarpur district. Similar incidents have been reported to the police in Tikamgarh district’s Orchha town. An Uttar Pradesh resident was the target in a robbery there recently.
Locals in the two districts have also fallen prey to such crimes — most of them at places with CCTV surveillance. The ‘slingshot thieves’ were giving a bad name to the town, proprietor of Handicraft Emporium, Shant Jain, told HT.
The police have launched efforts to round up the thieves but haven’t been successful yet. "Suspects have been rounded up ant efforts are on to catch the gang members," inspector general of police (Sagar Range) Pankaj Shrivastava said.