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Man who stole police van lived in Lutyens’ Delhi, wanted to go on adventure ride

The white Gypsy had been hired by the Delhi Police to serve as one of its many quick response teams (QRTs) and been attached with Tughlaq Road police station. The van’s driver had parked it in Kotla Mubarakpur village after duty on August 5. He found it missing the next morning.

delhi Updated: Aug 18, 2017 11:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi Police,Police gypsy stolen,Independence Day security scare
Accused Ajay had stolen the Delhi Police Gypsy from Kotla Mubarakpur on August 5. He wanted to modify the van and go on an adventure ride. (Handout)

A week after a police van was stolen from a south Delhi neighbourhood, raising concerns of its potential misuse, the vehicle was found in a parking lot in Tughlaqabad village on Monday night.

“The accused turned out to be a vehicle thief who wanted to modify the Maruti Gypsy van and use it for adventurous road trips,” said Romil Baaniya, DCP (south-east). The thief, identified as Ajay, lives in a jhuggi in New Delhi’s Tughlaq Lane.

The white Gypsy had been hired by the Delhi Police to serve as one of its many quick response teams (QRTs) and been attached with Tughlaq Road police station.

The van’s driver had parked it in Kotla Mubarakpur village after duty on August 5. He found it missing the next morning. With Independence Day celebrations nearing, the police had launched a frantic search for it, but failed to track the vehicle.

Police found the van whil probing another car theft. It so happened that Ajay had stolen two other cars this year. He had parked all three of them in a public parking lot in a Tughlaqabad locality.

Recently, he wanted to sell off one of the vehicles, a Suzuki Swift car. But the potential buyer he contacted sensed that the car was stolen.

He alerted the police after which a team swooped down on the parking lot where the car was parked. The policemen spotted the Gypsy parked there.

“The Gypsy was parked such that its front portion was not visible. When the vehicle was checked, the policemen realised it could be the stolen Gypsy,” said an investigator.

Thereafter, the potential buyer led the police to Ajay. The accused rents out two cars that he owns for a living. But his background revealed that he had two other cases, one under Arms Act and another of theft, registered against him in the past.

“Ajay was fascinated by the Gypsy and wanted to modify it as one of those vehicles used on adventure drives. He wanted to undertake long road trips after modifying this Gypsy,” said the DCP.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 23:31 IST