A 'petty' thief caught red-handed stealing Rs 1 lakh from the dickey of a motorbike by the police in Katihar, 300km east of Patna, has turned out to be a crorepati!
"Katihar Town police is stunned that Arjun Yadav, the kingpin and a mastermind of a gang of thieves who specialised in stealing from vehicles, even owned a showroom for TVS morbikes, superintendent of police," Kshatranil Sungh told HT on Saturday.
"He trained thieves to strip luxury cars and motorbikes and steal valuables. The members of the gang would throw a few Rs 10 currency notes near the vehicles to divert attention of drivers or vehicle owners. As they picked the small change, gang mebers would make away with cash and valuables," Singh said.
Interestingly, nobody in Yadav's neighbourhood in Gerabari village under Korha block, some 30 kms away from Katihar, ever knew that he was a thief.
"He owns a three-storied building located at Teja Tola locality under Town police station, another house at Gerabari in Korha police station area worth crores and his children study in prestigious schools," the SP said.
The thiefs 'social stature's came to light during investigations. Police found that he was a sub-dealer of TVS motorcycle (showroom) and had several bank accounts, besides owning six shops.
"Police has begun the investigation into the case to unearth assets and involve the income-tax department for further probe," the SP added.
According to him, the accused is a active member of robbery gang which is active in the state under the name of ''Korha''-after the place of origin. The group has collected huge physical assets by way of loot and robbery, said Singh, adding that he has asked the Korha circle officer to investigate his investments in realty.
"We had arrested many members of his gang in the past, but Yadav always gave us the slip," said the official.
According to the police, he had never committed any theft in town police station area and that was the reason why locals were unaware of his misdeeds.
Korha is a very backward block of Bihar, with police recording that most households have members who are fully or partially into unlawful activities. The block has a population of 4000 males, many of them into theft , pick-pocketing, looting and robbery. All the thieves of the village are members of a committee that monitors and manages the daily working of the group.
"It is mandatory to send the collected money back to the village committee because it distributes money and goods to thieves and others engaged in similar professions," said an official.
"The committee also hires lawyers to bail the thieves out when they are arrested and charged", the officer said, adding that it also keeps a percentage of the looted money and goods for smooth functioning of the village.
The kingpin of the racket is instrumental in training the children and sending them to metros and small towns across India.