Ten different gangs at work: Police
He taught his cronies well. Although Sanjeev Kumar alias Sanju - a notorious burglar-cum-arsonist leader of juvenile delinquents - is in Tihar Jail, his 'crew' is out on the streets, scouting houses.
And they all have picked up Sanju's trademark way of committing crime, burning the house down after burgling it.
The Delhi Police believe that 10 different small gangs of juveniles - all allegedly trained by Sanju, who recently turned 18 - are operating in the city.
Police believe that Sanju, who only operated with juveniles, some as young as 10 years old, is said to have ordered his 'crew' to carry on his work in his signature style.
The fear of these gangs runs so deep that the police are now asking people to change not only the locks of their houses but also add a few house-theft security systems.
Who are these juveniles?
They all love tattoos, body piercing and drugs. At a glance, they look like a bunch of college students high on marijuana. The police said that Sanju only recruits boys who are like him. Like Sanju, the fathers and families of these juveniles abandoned them.
"While they are out of the juvenile home, they are either hooked to thinner fluid or alcohol," said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity. The gang members now commit motor vehicle thefts.
According to the police, the 'burgle-and-burn gang' mainly targets houses in government colonies like Sarojini Nagar, Laxmi Bai Nagar and RK Puram, as these quarters have little or no security. "Most of the houses here have just padlocks on wooden doors, that can be easily broken. This is why the gang almost always targets these areas," added the officer.
The police are now asking people in these areas to change their locks, put up 'door-embedded locks' and get iron grills and iron doors installed.
Who is Sanju?
He is a notorious burglar-cum-arsonist gang leader involved in more than 1,500 cases of burglary and 100 cases of arson-cum-burglary, in and around Sarojini Nagar area.
Sanju allegedly burns down houses as he considers it his signature.
Also, he does not want to leave any fingerprints behind.
The notorious burglar prays to Shani Dev, every Saturday. Each time he is caught, he tells senior police officers that he would strike again.
He has also threatened to burn down the houses of media persons who write about him.
He has escaped from juvenile homes six times and taken along juvenile inmates whom he later recruited into his gang.