Love, disguise and crime: CCTV footage gives away snatcher couple behind 20 cases
A 26-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman who had fallen in love at a park in west Delhi around a year ago went on to commit more than 20 snatchings together, the police said on Tuesday while announcing their arrest.
Until they met, the man named Raju had been arrested thrice for crimes such as snatching and theft. But once he joined hands with Anjali, the couple enjoyed a successful run of snatching that lasted nearly a year, said Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (west).
“Anjali dressed as a man, clipped her hair and rode pillion on a motorcycle that Raju would ride while snatching mobile phones and handbags. For a long time, the disguise ensured that we didn’t suspect the role of a woman in the crimes committed by the couple,” said DCP Bhardwaj.
The couple’s luck began to run out since May when they allegedly snatched an iPhone from a man in west Delhi’s Mayapuri.
“They were captured by a CCTV camera. The footage indicated that the pillion rider was a woman. When they struck again, the pillion rider’s face was clearer. Soon, one of our informers identified the suspect as Anjali and her partner as Raju,” said another investigator.
The duo was arrested in Mayapuri on Monday evening after the anti-auto theft squad (AATS) received a tip-off about the suspects arriving on a stolen motorcycle.
Police said that the couple had first met at a public park in Mayapuri around a year ago. “Both were with their own friends when they came across each other. They soon fell in love,” said the officer. “Raju was a drug addict. In his company, Anjali too turned into an addict,” the officer added.
The interrogator said Anjali had run away from her home in outer Delhi years ago. “When Raju’s family got to know about his crimes, they disowned him. The couple would stay at rain baseras(night shelters) and live off the money earned from snatching,” said the officer.
Anjali’s story is strikingly similar to that of a 33-year-old woman, Ramanjeet Kaur, who was arrested for a series of snatching cases in west Delhi in March. Kaur too would allegedly dress as a man and ride pillion behind her partner, Ramneek Singh, until CCTV footage gave away their identities.