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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

108 mobile phones recovered from 4 pickpockets who targeted bus passengers on Mathura Road

Of the recovered cellphones, more than 50 were stolen from DTC buses plying on Mathura Road.

delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2019 05:00 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Of the recovered cellphones, more than 50 were stolen from DTC buses plying on Mathura Road.
Of the recovered cellphones, more than 50 were stolen from DTC buses plying on Mathura Road. (Burhaan Kinu/HT Photos)
         

Four members of an organised gang of pickpockets were arrested on Wednesday night and 108 stolen mobile phones were recovered from them, the police said on Thursday. The gang members used to target passengers travelling on Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses in south Delhi, the police said

The police have also recovered two countrymade pistols, two button-activated knives, four surgical blades and an auto-rickshaw, which they used during the crimes, from the suspects. The four men were identified as Vinod alias Balli,32, kingpin of the gang, and his associates — Jeetu,23, Roshan,26, and Rajesh,33 — all residents of Delhi.

One policeman was injured while catching the suspects, the police said, adding that the mobile phones were stolen in less than three months.

Of the total recovered cellphones, more than 50 were stolen from DTC buses plying on Mathura Road, between Ashram Chowk and Badarpur, only. The seized phones were of 33 different companies, the police said.

Deputy commissioner of police (southeast) Chinmoy Biswal said that the gang used to operate in a professional manner and the members called it “company”. The members had unique code names and specified tasks to perform. According to the police, there are two-three more members in the gang.

“The one named ‘machine’ or ‘Rani’ would cut the victim’s pocket using a surgical blade and steal mobile phones, while two-three members with code names ‘Theekbaaz (pusher)’ would provide a cover for him. They stood around the victim and distracted his attention by constantly pushing him in the crowded bus,” said Biswal.

Other members of the gang, including the kingpin who was titled ‘Raja’, would follow the bus in an auto-rickshaw. They were named ‘Bitbaaz (shadow)’. “Their task was to shadow Rani and pushers, and attack the victim in the bus if they resisted. They carry pistols and knives to tackle emergency situations,” he added.

According to the DCP, in the past few months, a series of pickpocketing incidents in buses were reported to Badarpur, Sarita Vihar and other nearby police stations after which a team was formed to nab the people involved in such crimes.

On Wednesday, the team received information that members of a gang active on Mathura Road would be travelling towards Pul Prahladpur from Badarpur in an auto-rickshaw for committing pickpocketing. Accordingly, a special vehicle checking picket was put on Mehrauli-Badarpur road. Around 8pm, the auto-rickshaw was spotted and signalled to stop.

“The driver, however, accelerated the vehicle and hit the iron barricade in an attempt to flee. Constable Vipin who tried to stop the auto was injured but still managed to nab its four occupants. Two pistols, 12 stolen cellphones, knives and surgical blades were seized from them,” said Biswal.

During the interrogation, Biswal said, the arrested men disclosed that they used to assemble at different locations between Ashram and Badarpur every morning. They boarded buses and stole mobile phones of passengers.

“After targeting two or three passengers in one bus, the thieves used to de-board the bus and keep the stolen phones in their auto moving behind the bus. They would board another bus and target more passengers. The stolen phones were sold to various shopkeepers in Ghaziabad,” the officer said.

Interrogation of the four led to recovery of 96 more stolen phones, the DCP said.

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 23:21 IST

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