Hordes of victims were seen at the police station here on Monday after an inter-state gang of thieves from Haryana was nabbed and recoveries worth Rs 3.25 crore made.
That’s the vanilla of it. What adds flavour to the story is the gang’s varied tastes — 2,311 salwar-kameez, 1,362 saris, 1,503 pairs of pants, sweaters and jackets, 54 lehngas, 51 watches, 26 TVs and 71 tyres were recovered. To top it all, there were 50kg almonds, 200kg cashew nuts and 300kg raisins, besides bottles of perfumes, some stray household items, and four cars.
The total theft is pegged at Rs5 crore and 43 cases have been traced so far, as per the police. The gang was active for the past year and a half in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh and sold the stolen goods mostly in Delhi, said inspector general of police Paramjit Singh Gill at a press briefing, while victims claimed their goods displayed in what seemed like a trade fair.
Among the four arrested men, all in their 20s, is alleged kingpin Arjun Sharma of Rohtak, who has 150 cases, including robbery and murder, registered against him. He has served jail terms too, as per the IGP. In 2013, after his latest release from jail, he put together a gang, of whom Ram Parshad of Narela and Vipul of Ladwa in Haryana, and Ravinder Mathur of Najafgarh in Delhi, have been arrested, while Ajay, also of Ladwa, remains at large. Gill said the arrests came about over the past two weeks after a month-long operation, and further probe was on after taking their remand.
“They apparently figured that it’s easy to sell unstitched suits, saris, spare tyres, batteries, even TVs, in Delhi’s markets and remain scot-free, as policemen won’t immediately doubt their activities. They started with stealing from houses and graduated to shops,” said the IGP. Working on the demand-and-supply theory, according to the police, the gang stole dry fruits and sweaters in the winter and power invertors and batteries in the summer.
Those who identified their goods included owners of prime shops of hosiery and dry fruits in Sarabha Nagar of Ludhiana and Anardana Chowk, Patiala. The IGP said superintendent of police Jaskarjit Singh Teja and inspector Bikramjit Singh Brar made the breakthrough, thus commendation awards had been given to them, apart from certificates to senior superintendent of police Gurmeet Singh Chauhan and promotions to other staff involved in the operation.