Delhi burglars booked app-based cabs to and from Connaught Place shops they robbed
The Raju Gang used to book air-conditioned cabs on mobile app cab hailing services, and also took cabs back home, after burgling shops in Connaught Place.delhi Updated: May 22, 2018 10:20 IST
Raju, Sanjeev and Nandu believed in a comfortable commute to and from work, even if it would mean spending a little more.
They used to book air-conditioned cabs on mobile app cab hailing services, and also took cabs back home, after burgling shops in Connaught Place.
The Raju Gang, named them after their leader, Raju Pannerselvam, 57, is believed to have committed a series of burglaries reported from the Central Delhi’s shopping arcade earlier this month. Other members have been identified as Sanjeev Kumar alias Raja, 48, and Nandu Rawat, 32,
A senior police officer said that the accused Nandan earlier worked as a driver with Ola and had not renewed his permit for more than a year, leading to his disassociation with the company.
An Ola spokesperson, said, “This is an unfortunate incident, however, we would like to clarify that the accused was not on our platform.”
An investigating officer said the first burglary was reported on May 4, when the gang broke into a meat shop, Khub Chand & Bros, during the early hours and fled with Rs 60,000 in cash, some raw meat and documents.
Three days later, on May 7, the manager of ‘US Polo Assn’ retail store in Connaught Place reported a break-in. He said that when he returned to the store in the morning, he found the main gate open and locks broken. “The manager reported Rs 3.23 lakh cash and 45 pairs of jeans, 50 shirts, at least 50 pairs of trousers and 40 T-shirts, along with 20 blazers and 10 belts stolen from the shop,” the officer said.
◼ Police said the three used to book app-based cabs to commute to Connaught Place early morning and pre-book cabs to return
◼ Police said Nandu used to drive an Ola cab but his vehicle was de-registered after he did not renew it for over an year. Ola also clarified that he was not associated Police said CCTV footage from near the burgled shops helped them nab the culprits with their platform
◼ The police zeroed-in-on vehicles with similar registration number and started looking for the vehicle in CP area
◼ They were nabbed from a car during checking, police said
◼ Police said when the trio was not using Nandu’s car, they used to book cabs
◼ They targeted a meat shop, and two apparel stores among other shops in CP
Police said, on May 12, a Raymond showroom was burgled and two pocket pins worth Rs 4,500 and one camera worth Rs 5,000 were stolen. A Reebok store was targeted on May 14 and Rs 30,000 cash, the digital video recorder of the showroom’s CCTV camera, a bag and some clothes were stolen.
Deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said during investigation around 20 to 25 clips of footage from CCTVs installed in the inner circle of Connaught Place were analysed and it was seen that in each theft, three men broke into the stores between 3 am and 5 am.
“It was also seen that they used to reach the crime spot in a white hatchback taxi. The car’s registration number ended with 1425. The team obtained a list of all Tata hatchback taxis bearing similar registration number,” said Verma.
From a list of criminals who had been involved in similar crimes, police zeroed in on two names — Raju and Nandu, who were arrested in with an Innova car in Rohini in 2017. Further probe revealed that Nandu was seen often driving a Tata Indica car as taxi, police said.
“Following the route often taken by the suspects, a special picket was raised at Rajiv Chowk metro station, gate number six. On Sunday, around 4am, a Tata Indica car was spotted near Janpath traffic signal. The police team intercepted the vehicle and Raju, Sanjeev and Nandu were arrested,” the DCP said.
Verma said when they were not using Nandu’s car, the gang booked app-based cabs to reach the crime spots and then pre-booked these cabs to flee.