How 14 thieves from a family stole mobile phones on the Delhi Metro for 2 months

The extended family belongs to a village in Agra. Out of the 14, who were nabbed, 6 are juveniles. When a Delhi police team caught one of them at the New Delhi Metro station, the gang had already stolen nine mobile phones.

delhi Updated: Sep 20, 2017 12:32 IST
Shiv Sunny
Shiv Sunny
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi metro,Delhi crime
When police confirmed the identities of each of those 14 persons, it turned out they all belonged to one large extended family that lives in a village near Agra and targets Delhi Metro passengers.(Picture: Sourced)

When a police team swooped down on a group of men in a park in north Delhi’s Sabzi Mandi on Monday afternoon, they did not know they were face to face with “a large family of thieves”.

When police confirmed the identities of each of those 14 persons, it turned out they all belonged to one large extended family that lives in a village near Agra and targets Delhi Metro passengers.

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The gang had already stolen nine mobile phones on Monday before they were caught in the afternoon. In five of those cases, FIRs had been registered.

“The gang that comprises only male members would steal 20-25 mobile phones from Metro passengers in a day,” Pankaj Kumar Singh, DCP (Metro), told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.

The police stumbled upon this family when a team patrolling the New Delhi Metro station learnt about a mobile phone being stolen from one of the passengers. Since the appearance and clothing of the suspect was known, the police were lucky to nab him from the Metro station premises itself.

The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Bachchan Singh, a resident of Vishnupura village in Agra district. The stolen mobile phone was found with him, police alleged.

Singh did not take too long to lead the police to his associates who were “taking a break” in a park near Sabzi Mandi police station.

Unaware of the catch that awaited them, a team of Kashmere Gate Metro police raided the park in the hope of nabbing a couple of more thieves. But what the police found were 13 persons allegedly seated in a circle and planning their next move.

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“These thieves were found carrying eight more mobile phones. All of those phones had been stolen in the few hours preceding their apprehension,” said an investigator.

The alleged thieves included eight adults and six minors aged between 15 and 18. “The thieves say many more people from their village are involved in stealing. But this particular family worked in a group,” said the investigator.

On their usual days, members of this family performed usual jobs of farmers, cobblers and daily wagers. But they made real money by stealing.

It was around two months ago that two-three members of this family had visited Delhi. “They found the Metro trains full of potential. The mad rush in the trains had much scope for easily stealing from the passengers,” said an investigator about the revelation made by the thieves.

So, this family decided to target the Delhi Metro passengers once every fortnight. They would travel together in a bus till Kashmere Gate bus terminal and camp in one of the many parks in the neighbourhood for the day.

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Before moving out on their assignment, this family would divide themselves in two teams of five-six members each. They would then purchase Metro tickets and begin searching for easy targets.

“Their modus operandi involves two of them surrounding the victim while the others stand in a queue. As one person distracts the victim, the other steals his mobile phone and passes on to the next member,” said an investigator. The phone would then be passed on to the last member there, making it virtually impossible for the victim to trace the phone.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 10:31 IST