He changed his face, couldn’t dodge cops: How Delhi’s super car thief was held
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He changed his face, couldn’t dodge cops: How Delhi’s super car thief was held

After allegedly stealing hundreds of cars in Delhi NCR, suspect Kunal Maheshwari went under the knife to change the way he looked. He had been avoiding detection by Delhi Police but law caught up with him on October 13

delhi Updated: Oct 23, 2017 15:40 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Super car thief,Plastic surgery,Identification
Left: Photo of Kunal Maheshwari clicked in 2010 before surgery. Right: His recent coloured photo.(HT)

He stole hundreds of cars in Delhi and satellite cities, went under the plastic surgeon’s scalpel five years ago to change his looks and avoid detection, was always armed, and a junkie too.

Kunal Maheshwari was “super thief” in New Delhi’s crime league, until the law got the better of him on October 13 — caught with a stolen hatchback in which he was out on a nightly spin.

Shackled with handcuffs, he gave out the names of his associates, Irshad Ali and Mohammad Shadab, the gang suspected of stealing a car almost every alternate day in New Delhi and neighbouring states of late.

The 35-year-old Maheshwari fell into a trap set for the man he was before facial surgery.

The cops were looking for Tanuj, a criminal arrested in the past but out on bail. There was a tip-off that he would come towards Nehru Place in a stolen car. They had an old black-and-white photograph to identify him.

When the policemen blocked their target on a road opposite Eros Hotel in Nehru Place, the driver got down and ran. “Our team chased him for 300 meters and caught him. The car was stolen from Faridabad,” said Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (southeast).

The suspect identified himself as Kunal Maheshwari and the cops were surprised as the face on the photo didn’t match the suspect’s looks.

But his game was up when a sub-inspector at Kalkaji police station, who was part of the team that arrested him in 2013, identified him.

“Maheshwari admitted he underwent a plastic surgery in 2012 outside Delhi. He is not revealing the hospital’s name and the money he spent,” Baaniya said.

The suspect was born Tanuj in south Delhi’s Garhi near Amar Colony, dropped out of school in Class 12, fell into bad company, became a drug addict and committed burglaries to fund his indulgences when he was 18, according to police.

The son of a grocery shop owner then graduated to stealing cars.

“He always keep firearms and never hesitates to fire at policemen,” an officer said.

He was arrested in 2013 for his suspected role in 70 vehicle thefts, but got bail this February. When he was caught that year he allegedly tried to commit suicide at Chittaranjan Park police station.

“After his release from jail, Maheshwari stole over 100 cars in Delhi, Faridabad, Indirapuram, and Ghaziabad in seven months,” Baaniya said.

The gang was part of a wider network that sold stolen cars, changing the engine and chassis numbers and repurposing the papers.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 23:46 IST