Puncturing tyres, spilling oil on bonnet: Police reveal tactics of Thak Thak gang
Every week, six laptops are stolen on an average from cars parked in the city, reveals police data. In 2018, at least 288 laptops were stolen, as gangs operating in the city targeted cars outside malls and in parking lots, said the police. This year, 17 such incidents have been reported between January 1 to March 31.
Some of the spots identified by the police to be vulnerable to such thefts include Golf Course Road, Sohna Road, MG Road, and Palam Vihar.
The police said that they have busted two gangs this year and have recovered three laptops and mobile phones from their possession. The members of one of the gangs, during interrogation, revealed that they were part of the ‘Thak Thak’ gang and had previous criminal records.
In a recent case, the ‘Thak Thak’ gang members targeted a family on March 19 on MG Road, while one of its members had gone to collect cash from a money exchange office, said the police.
“After lying low for some time, the gang members have resurfaced in the city with three recent incidents of laptop thefts from parked cars being reported. This time they have targeted new areas and have not visited the old locations, which are under the police scanner,” said Shamsher Singh, assistant commissioner of police (crime).
The gang members attack parked cars and steal valuables after breaking their glass windows. The police said they target places outside malls, unattended parking areas and commercial hubs. The police added that during interrogation the gang members had revealed that they sell the stolen laptops and gadgets on online market places or to the shopkeepers in Nehru Place and Karol Bagh.
“Mostly, the mastermind of such gangs are tech savvy, who has been involved in gadget thefts from a long time. The gang members easily get ₹20,000 for a good quality of laptop which is sold further sold for ₹40,000,” said Singh.
The police said the gang members keep coming up with new ideas and target new places to escape arrest.
In recent times, however, the gang has stopped stealing laptops as it has suspected that the police have intentionally placed a laptop in a car a with tracking device installed to get information about its whereabouts. “In many cases, we found laptops near the spots and cash and valuables were found missing. Many gangsters target only cash and jewellery,” said Singh.
The police have formed six teams, which are deployed at the stretches prone to such kind of incidents in a civil dress.
The gang has now started knocking at the car window on the pretext of asking an address. They tell the driver that his car’s tyre has been punctured and make him get down of the car. When the victim gets down, they overpower him and steal laptop bags or other valuables in the car.
Singh said the gang members got initially their name from the knocking sound they made on the car window. But after they got notorious, they had to change their mode of operation.
They later started scattering currency notes in the parking areas near the car window to draw the driver’s attention and make him get down from the car.
After that they started pouring oil on the bonnet of the car to similarly draw the attention of the driver. Recently, they had also started breaking car windows using a catapult from a distance. They usually waited for owners to arrive at the spot. If they failed to arrive, they fled with valuables, said the police.