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On test drives in Delhi, they drove off with SUVs to sell in UP for election use

Renaut Duster, Mahindra XUV 500, Toyota Fortuner among stolen cars. The gang members took cars for test drive and dupe the showroom official on the way. The last heist was committed at a car showroom in Delhi’s Mayapuri area

delhi Updated: Mar 16, 2017 10:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi stolen cars,car thieves,SUVs
Some of the SUVs which were seized by the police. The gang of thieves used to sell the stolen cars in UP.(Handout)

A gang that stole SUVs and sedans from Delhi’s showrooms on the pretext of taking test drives has been busted. Over the past few month, this gang targeted SUVs particularly because of high demand in the Uttar Pradesh elections, said police.

Two men were arrested and five expensive stolen cars, including a Fortuner, XUV 500 and Renault Duster, recovered from them.

To quickly sell off the stolen vehicles, they would offer them at dirt cheap prices. “The top-model Fortuner, which had clocked only 19,000 kilometres, was sold to an unsuspecting buyer for just Rs 3.5 lakh,” said an investigator.

Read: Delhi Police find ‘mortuary’ of stolen luxury cars in Meerut godown

Members of this gang would dress smartly and pose as potential customers seeking test drives, said police. Once they would get the key to the car, they would draw the accompanying showroom employee into a conversation.

In the middle of the test drive, the employee would be given a Rs 100 note with a request to buy a bottle of water. As soon as the employee would come out of the car, the thief would drive away.

The last time this gang stole a car using this method was in February. They targeted a Renault showroom in Mayapuri in west Delhi and made away with a brown Duster car.

Two members of the gang were arrested by a crime branch team led by ACP Sanjay Sehrawat under the supervision of DCP Madhur Verma from Dwarka area earlier last week.

Identified as Arif Hussain and Lakhwinder Singh, the arrested duo used “total loss” vehicles to give a fresh life to the stolen cars. “Total loss” cars are vehicles, which have suffered heavy damages in accidents and their repair cost is higher than their cash value.

Read: Only 15% of stolen cars are recovered in Delhi

So, after stealing a car, this gang would purchase a total loss vehicle, along with its documents, from insurance companies, said Verma. They would emboss the engine and chassis number of the damaged car on the stolen car.

Passing off the documents of the damaged car as that of the stolen vehicle was not difficult. Finding a customer for the stolen vehicle was even easier as it would be offered at a dirt cheap price.

This gang is accused of stealing over 40 expensive cars over the past week months. Eight of the cars were stolen during test drives in Delhi and nearby areas, said investigators. Police said they are trying to trace other members of the gang.

First Published: Mar 15, 2017 23:16 IST