The district police claims to have busted a gang of truck thieves by arresting four of its members, responsible for stealing 37 trucks from Punjab and other states.
Addressing media persons, Kapurthala SSP Inderbir Singh said, "The gang had been active in this trade since many years. In preliminary investigations, the suspects admitted to have stolen at least 37 trucks from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Uttar Pradesh. We have recovered six of these trucks."
The police have arrested Surinder Singh, alias Chhinda, resident of Dewlanwal village in Kapurthala, Gurpreet Singh alias Makhan, a resident of Maqsudan in Jalandhar, Mohinder Singh alias Bittu, a resident of Kahna Dhesiyan village in Jalandhar and Vijay Pal, a resident of Industrial Area, Kapurtala.
Revealing the modus operandi, the SSP said that they used to sell the trucks to junk-dealers in parts or sometimes as a complete vehicle. "They had admitted that a junk-dealer based at Khanouri in Sangrur district and another junk-dealer from Uttar Pardesh used to buy parts from them. These places will be raided to make recoveries."
"These are professional thieves with crimial records. Several such cases have already been registered against them. Some trucks have fake number plates installed on them. We will try and locate their links, if any, within the police department and others. Officials found helping them will be punished strictly."
Later speaking to the media, one of the accused Vijay Pal said: "I have working on commission for one Gurpreet Singh alias Makhan, who used to pay me Rs 5,000 per truck supplied to him. I was jailed in 2006, but was unable to earn a honest living, so had to take back to stealing trucks. We have stolen nearly 40-50 trucks."
In one of the trucks recovered on the accused's tip-off, 60-kg of poppy husk was recovered. The accused have been booked under different sections of the IPC.