Man tries to steal cab with passenger inside, caught by cops after 2.5km chase

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Published on Jul 31, 2020 11:24 PM IST
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ByAnvit Srivastava, New Delhi

A 35-year-old woman had a hellish ride on Thursday night after the cab she was travelling in was allegedly snatched by a man in Gopalpur. Her ordeal continued for 2.5km before policemen on patrolling duty chased and nabbed the driver near the Burari flyover. The man was arrested for robbery and abduction, senior police officers said.

Police said the man has no previous criminal record. He used to drive a Grameen Sewa tempo and had lost his job during the lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic when the owner of the vehicle stopped lending him the tempo. Police said the man told them that he tried to steal the cab with the intent to earn a livelihood by driving it.

According to the police, the incident took place around 9pm when the woman booked a cab, a Hyundai Xcent, from an app-based cab aggregator to go from Shalimar Garden to her cousin’s house at Singhu Border. As told by the woman and the cab driver, after half an hour into the trip, the woman felt thirsty and asked the driver to stop and buy her a cold drink, police said.

“The driver stopped the cab a little ahead of the Gopalpur CNG pump and got out. He had left the keys in the car. Soon as he left, a man, later identified as Prince Sharma, 28, a resident of Mahendra Park, got into the car and started driving,” a senior police officer, who wished not to be named, said.

Seeing this, the woman asked him to stop but he kept driving. “She then rolled down the window and shouted for help. She even tried to slap the driver from behind and force him to halt, but he kept driving. Hearing the woman’s screams, the cab’s driver realised that his cab was being stolen. He sought help from a passerby and started chasing the car,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, two constables, Anil and Pawan from Wazirpur police station, who were on night patrolling duty, also spotted the woman shouting for help from the car and started chasing the cab, he said.

Deputy commissioner of police (north) Monika Bhardwaj said after a two-and-a-half kilometre chase, when Sharma noticed that police as well as the cab driver were after him, he tried to speed away. “Because the woman was continuously thrashing him from behind, Sharma lost control of the cab and rammed the central verge near Burari flyover. Seeing the driver and the police approaching him, he jumped out of the car and ran towards the main road but was chased by the two constables and caught,” Bhardwaj said.

The DCP said the constables then called for backup and Sharma, along with the cab driver and the woman were brought to Wazirpur police station where a case of robbery and abduction under sections 392 and 365 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against Sharma.

Another police officer who is probing the incident said when questioned, Sharma told them that he used to drive a Grameen Sewa tempo. “Because of the lockdown since all services were suspended, the owner of the tempo asked Sharma to not report for work anymore. Left penniless, Sharma said he tried to steal the cab to be able to earn a livelihood,” the officer said, requesting anonymity.

HT tried to contact the woman but all calls and texts went unanswered.

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