Robbers hold man hostage, flee with car as he stops for cigarette
A 27-year-old deputy manager of a five-star hotel was allegedly robbed of his Rs 8-lakh car by armed men, who held him hostage for over five hours, covered his face with his sweater and tied his hands with the belt of his trousers on Tuesday night.
Police said the victim was dropped unhurt near a private school on Sohna Road after being driven around the city when he allegedly told the robbers that he did not have any money in his bank account and volunteered to go to an ATM with them.
According to police, the incident took place on Tuesday at 10.15pm near Iffco Tower in Sector 29, just over a kilometre away from the Sector 29 police station. Police said the victim, Kabir Ali, 27, was on his way to the hotel in his Ford Eco Sport car from his house on Golf Course Extension Road — about a 12-kilometre drive — for night duty.
Sector 29 assistant sub-inspector Raj Kumar said that to avoid smoking right before starting his shift, Ali had stopped the car near Iffco Tower, which is a kilometre from the hotel, and rolled down his car’s windows.
“He was carrying cigarettes and was smoking while sitting inside the car. The stretch was deserted and a street light at the spot was not functional. A man carrying a gun appeared from the driver’s side and told him to unlock the car. When he unlocked the car, another robber, who was not armed, came from the opposite side and sat on the co-driver’s seat. The armed robber manhandled the victim, pushed ali to the back seat and got behind the wheel. The robber drove the car for about 1.5 kilometres to The Plazzio Hotel in South City, where their two aides joined them and sat on either side of the victim,” ASI Kumar said.
Police said the robbers covered his face with his sweater, tied his hands with the belt he was wearing at the time and pushed his head down to avoid being seen.
“They snatched his mobile phone and took his wallet, which had Rs 1,000 cash and two ATM cards. They asked him how much money was in his bank account. He told them there was no money in the account linked to his cards and even volunteered to go to an ATM to confirm. After driving Ali around for several hours, they dropped him near Laburnum Public School on Sohna Road,” ASI Kumar said, adding that the victim did not sustain any serious injury.
Police said the victim is reported to have walked for over half an hour towards a hotel in Badshahpur, where he asked the staff for a phone to contact the police. Just as he was about to call, a Durga Shakti police van spotted Ali walking in the middle of the night and questioned him. Hearing his ordeal, they took him to the Badshahpur police station at 3.45am.
The victim’s father, Javed Ali, said that the police from Badshahpur police station informed them of the incident around 4.30am on Wednesday.“My son told us that the robbers threatened to stab him if he made noise. He felt something sharp and for a minute assumed that he had been stabbed with a knife. There was a slash on his vest,” Javed said.
Police commissioner Muhammad Akil, who took charge on Tuesday, said he has directed police to investigate the case and trace the accused men at the earliest.
At least three similar incidents have taken place this year and come three weeks after a car driver was allegedly abducted at gunpoint outside the Ambience Mall on NH-48 and robbed of his Fortuner car. The incidents call into question residents’ safety at any time of the day.