Three of gang stealing vehicles nabbed, four cars recovered
Noida: A wanted criminal with a bounty of ₹25,000 on him was among three members of a gang nabbed by police on Tuesday night for allegedly stealing cars in the national capital region (NCR). Four stolen vehicles, including a Maruti Brezza and two Honda City cars, were recovered from them, police said.
The prime suspect was identified as Wahid Hasan, a Meerut native who had been involved in vehicle thefts since 2005. According to police officials, he is often referred to as ‘doctor’ for his expertise in vehicle thefts. The other suspects were identified as Ankur, who would provide with fake number plates, and Shoaib, who provided the gang with pre-processed SIM cards.
The officials said that the three were nabbed from near a liquor shop in Morna, Sector 35.
“Wahid had a bounty of ₹25,000 on him announced by Sector 24 police station. He is also wanted by the Delhi Police in at least seven cases. He has more than 50 cases registered against him in Delhi-NCR,” said Rajesh S, deputy commissioner of police, zone 1.
The officials said that Wahid’s phone number is registered in Saudi Arabia and the gang used internet calling features to avoid getting traced.
“He has houses at eight different locations in six districts of Uttar Pradesh and stayed at different places daily. For the first 3-4 years, he stole the cars himself but later trained other members of the gang who stole the vehicles for him. They used to target parked sedans and high-end vehicles. The vehicles were sold to specific people,” said a senior police official.
He also said that Wahid kept multiple lawyers on retainership in various districts to handle his legal matters and spent more than ₹1 lakh on advocates per month for this purpose.
Police have identified at least four other people associated with the gang, one of whom sold the vehicles outside Uttar Pradesh in states like Rajasthan, Haryana and Bihar. A search is on for the other members of the gang, said police.
Ankur ran a shop in Modinagar to make number plates which he provided to the gang, said police.
Apart from the four stolen cars, some weapons, several electronic keys, 15 number plates, electronic machines to unlock cars, 29 various car keys, and 34 SIM cards, among others were recovered from the suspects.
The trio was produced before a magistrate and later sent to jail, police said.