Robbery in Chandigarh’s Sector 27: Auto driver who stood guard for robbers nabbed

Accused’s auto was used to conduct recce of the victim’s house a day before the robbery on September 7 and also to reach an ATM to withdraw money using her debit card
Prem, alias Motu, in the custody of Chandigarh Police on Friday. His auto-rickshaw, the victim’s ATM card and <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10,000 of the booty have been recovered from him. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Prem, alias Motu, in the custody of Chandigarh Police on Friday. His auto-rickshaw, the victim’s ATM card and 10,000 of the booty have been recovered from him. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Updated on Sep 11, 2021 12:46 AM IST
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ByShailee Dogra, Chandigarh

Making a breakthrough in Tuesday’s robbery where three men held a model-cum-actor captive at knifepoint at her house in Sector 27, police have arrested their fourth accomplice, an auto-rickshaw driver.

According to police, it was Prem, alias Motu, a resident of Shahimajra, Mohali, who helped the accused conduct a recee of the 27-year-old victim’s house in his auto-rickshaw and also took one of the robbers to an ATM to withdraw cash from her account.

“As the accused went to the ATM and then escaped without being noticed, we started a search for the vehicle used. Human intelligence network helped us track down Prem, who used to socialise with the robbers,” said Ketan Bansal, superintendent of police (SP, City), Chandigarh.

Prem was arrested from his house in Shahimajra on Friday. His auto-rickshaw, the victim’s debit card and 10,000 in cash, which was his share of the booty, have been recovered.

According to police, the three robbers have been identified as Arjun, alias Nepali, the mastermind; Arjun Kumar and Sunil, alias Sunny, alias Bihari, who remain at large. Raids are being conducted at various places to nab them.

Stood outside while others executed robbery

In his disclosure, Prem told the police that he and the three robbers first conducted a recce of the victim’s house in his auto-rickshaw around 8pm on Monday. They planned to strike the same night, but dropped the idea.

A day later, the four men returned and three of them easily walked into the victim’s house around 12.30pm, as the door was left open by the domestic help. Meanwhile, Prem stood guard outside in his auto-rickshaw.

Holding the home-alone woman captive at knifepoint, they took her debit card and forced her to reveal the PIN, following which Sunil left to withdraw money from her account.

As the two other robbers started to search the house for valuables, the victim grabbed the 6 lakh kept in a room and locked herself in the bathroom. But she handed over the cash after Nepali cut open the bathroom’s mesh window.

Sunil withdrew money from ATM

Police said Sunil and Prem went to an ATM in Sector 30 in the latter’s auto-rickshaw around 2pm and withdrew 20,000 via two transactions.

“Prem kept 15,000 of this amount and also retained the ATM card for further transactions, while Sunil took 5,000,” SP Ketan said.

According to investigators, of his share of the booty, Prem had already spent 4,000 to pay an instalment for his auto-rickshaw on September 8.

Mastermind Arjun ensured no mobile was used

To ensure that they could not be traced, mastermind Nepali ensured that none of them used a mobile phone while executing the robbery.

Police said Arjun, who has a criminal record, planned the robbery after he and four other men delivered some newly bought furniture at the victim’s rented accommodation on August 30.

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Monday, December 06, 2021