The Ghaziabad police late Friday evening arrested two persons, including a dental course student from Meerut, on charges of armed robbery, for their alleged role in five chain snatching incidents in Ghaziabad in the last one and half months. The officials said that the duo came from Meerut to Ghaziabad and made their way back after snatching.
The police arrested Shaukat and Pawan Raj, who are from Muzaffarnagar and Meerut districts, respectively. The latter is a student at a private university in Meerut and is pursuing his bachelor’s degree course in dental mechanics.
“We recovered five robbed chains and a Pulsar bike from their possession. The modus operandi they employed was to take off the SIM card of their mobiles while coming to Ghaziabad and avoid using their phones, to evade electronic surveillance by police. Before they were arrested, they also opened fire on the police,” Salmantaj Patil, superintendent of police (city), said.
The duo is suspected to be involved in several incidents of snatching in areas such as Kavi Nagar, Raj Nagar District Centre and Raj Nagar.
“I am still pursuing my dental course but had to drop three months due to an accident. I was pursued by Shaukat for taking part in such incidents and he also asked me to use my bike,” Pawan said.
Officials said that Shaukat and his friends, identified as Ashok and Ravinder, rope in youngsters who own bikes for use in such crimes. According to crime records, Shaukat has previously been to jail thrice — arrested at Incholi, Kankarkhera and Civil Lines police stations in Meerut in three different instances of snatching.
“The duo was arrested following a plan by the police to check snatching after so many incidents took place in the city areas. We have roped in police personnel in plainclothes and also placed informers to provide us information about suspected snatchers. Picketing has been strengthened in places where chain snatchers struck the most,” he said.