Three of a gang held in Delhi for burgling ATMs
Senior police officers said that some ATM break-in cases had been reported in Delhi in the past two-three months. The investigation and study of the modus operandi hinted at the role of the Mewat-based gang in connection with the crimes
Three members of a Mewat-based gang involved in stealing over ₹2.25 crore from 25 automated teller machines (ATMs) in Delhi and at least seven other states in the last four years were arrested by a team of the special cell, Delhi Police said on Tuesday.
The three men, including the kingpin of the gang Mustakeem Khan, 27, were caught on Saturday after a brief scuffle with the team members at Lajwanti Chowk near Hari Nagar in west Delhi. Each of the three was carrying loaded pistols. Police also recovered three firearms along with seven live bullets from the Hyundai Verna car they were travelling in. They identified the other two arrested men as Samma Khan, 32, and Mohammad Haseen, 23, and said all three belong to Nuh in Haryana’s Mewat region.
“The arrested persons are members of a Mewat-based gang of robbers led by Mustakeem, who is involved in 33 criminal cases, including 25 of ATM break-ins alone. Mustakeem had been on the run for the last three years and had also been declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in eight cases. Apart from Delhi, Mustakeem and his gang members robbed ATM in Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana. They travelled to these states in trucks,” deputy commissioner of police (special cell) Jasmeet Singh said.
Senior police officers said that some ATM break-in cases had been reported in Delhi in the past two-three months. The investigation and study of the modus operandi hinted at the role of the Mewat-based gang in connection with the crimes. The southern range team of the special cell that is expert in dealing with such crimes was tasked to nab the suspects. The team identified the suspects and launched a pursuit, police said.
Last week, the team received intelligence regarding the movement of Mustakeem and other members of his gang in Delhi. On September 17, they learnt that the suspects would be coming to Lajwanti Chowk near Hari Nagar to meet their associates between 2pm and 3pm. Accordingly, police laid a trap and arrested Mustakeem along with his associates Samma Khan and Mohammad Haseen after a scuffle, the DCP said.
“Mustakeem’s interrogation revealed that he and his gang members had gone to Dibrugarh in Assam in a truck in the first week of this month (September). On September 5 and 6, they broke open two ATM machines of a nationalised bank using gas cutters and stole over ₹45 lakh. The ATMs were gutted after catching fire due to the sparks caused by the gas cutters,” DCP Singh said.
Between May 10 and July 20, the gang members targeted three ATMs in Patel Nagar, Shanti Niketan and Mitraon near Delhi’s Najafgarh and stole ₹10 lakh, ₹20.85 lakh and ₹6.4 lakh respectively, police said.