Lost and found 3 cars in 3 years, Delhi businessman hopes to be 4th time lucky
The cars stolen the first three times were two golden-beige Honda City sedans. He still drives one of them.Updated: Feb 05, 2018 08:12 IST
A south Delhi businessman has been the victim of car thefts four times in the last three years, police said on Sunday as investigators search for his Renault Duster, which was stolen from outside a gym in Lajpat Nagar’s K block on January 30.
On the first three occasions, the cars were found though the thieves were caught only once. The victim, 50-year-old textile dyer and finisher Deepak Pandoi, is now hoping to be fourth-time lucky.
The cars stolen the first three times were two golden-beige Honda City sedans. He still drives one of them. Deputy commissioner of police (south-east) Chinmoy Biswal said that the first three thefts had been perpetrated in the same neighbourhood in Lajpat Nagar’s G block.
The series of thefts started on the morning of December 16, 2014. “My car cleaner rang the doorbell to say that my car was missing from its regular parking space. I immediately called the police,” Pandoi said.
The businessman could not believe his luck when, barely a week later, his former driver called to say that the car was parked at an isolated spot in Greater Kailash. “I don’t know who stole my car or how it reached Greater Kailash. The police and I were both happy to recover the car,” said Pandoi.
But just four months later, on April 10, 2015, Pandoi’s other Honda City got stolen from an empty parking spot in the vicinity.
Once again, it was the cleaner who alerted him to the theft. “I followed the drill, got a case registered, and prayed that I would get lucky again,” said Pandoi.
He received a call from the police around 10 days later. “The thief had abandoned my car outside Peeragarhi police station after being involved in a minor accident,” he said.
After almost a year without incident, he discovered that the car was again missing on the morning of February 8, 2016. This time, Pandoi decided to claim insurance after getting an FIR registered. “It was about 90 days after the theft — I was about to get my insurance claim — when I got a call from Badarpur police station. They said the car had been found, and that it had been stolen to commit a petty crime,” Pandoi said.
This January 30, Pandoi parked his new Duster outside a gym, walked up the stairs, and deposited the car keys at the reception.
“The thief was well-dressed, in branded shoes and clothes. He tricked the gym receptionist into looking for the trainer, took the key, and drove away,” Pandoi said.
The police said that the thief’s face has been seen on CCTV footage, and efforts are on to identify the suspect. “We have put a team of the local police as well as our anti-auto theft squad on the job,” said the DCP.
On average, 105 cars are stolen in Delhi every day. But this may be the only case of a person being a victim of car theft four times over a short span.