Inspired by YouTube video, couple intoxicate men in movie halls to steal valuables

Apr 19, 2023 11:02 PM IST

A couple in Lucknow, India, have been arrested for tricking men they befriended on Facebook into meeting them at a shopping mall, spiking their drinks and stealing their valuables. The couple, who have been carrying out the scam for two years, were caught with goods worth INR3 lakh ($4,261) and have been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code.

LUCKNOW The proverb -- bad news comes in twos -- came true for several men who fell into the trap laid out by 25-year-old Ankita Katariya and her 35-year-old husband Amit Kumar.

Accused husband-wife held, stolen goods worth <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>3L recovered. (HT Photo)
Accused husband-wife held, stolen goods worth 3L recovered. (HT Photo)

Inspired by a YouTube video, the insidious couple had a simple plan to trick men. First, Ankita would befriend a man on Facebook. Then, she would ask him for a movie date in a posh Gomti Nagar shopping mall. During this movie date, the couple would spike the soft drinks of the target and steal all valuables on him.

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Acting on two such complaints against them, police arrested the accused duo on Wednesday. “Ankita Katariya, a Kannauj resident, used to befriend men on Facebook. She used to ask them for movie dates in malls after chatting for a few days. She would then intoxicate the drinks and steal valuables like gold and cash from them,” said Gomti Nagar police in its press note.

“Two such cases were reported by two individuals -- the first in January and the other in March. With the help of CCTV footage of the shopping mall and surveillance, the woman was identified. She was arrested with her husband Amit Kumar, an Etawah resident. The two were arrested from the Ambedkar crossing in Gomti Nagar with valuables worth 3 lakh,” said Hridesh Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (East).

The two accused have been doing this for the last two years. The woman’s husband used to help her in selling the valuables. “Two FIRs under several sections of IPC have been lodged against them at Gomti Nagar police station and similar cases are being checked in other police stations as well,” the DCP added.

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