1,000 robberies solved with arrest of trio: PoliceUpdated: Nov 19, 2020, 23:32 IST
The police have claimed to have solved over 1,000 cases of armed robberies and snatchings with the arrest of three alleged robbers in the murder of a 26-year-old woman on Golf Course Extension Road. The police said they have recovered an inventory of 1,010 snatched mobiles phones that were sold to a mobile phone shop owner in Nuh over the past year.
The gang used to make calls to the victims demanding money on the pretext of misusing their phone data, such as private pictures and videos. Many such cases also went unreported, said police.
Preet Pal Sangwan, the assistant commissioner of police (crime), said that the suspects used to contact the family members on the pretext of returning their lost mobile phones and later demand money. “In many cases, victims have paid the amount and have not informed the police. The idea of blackmailing was shared by a shopkeeper in Nuh who used to buy these snatched mobiles from them,” he said.
The suspects were identified as Irshad alias Golu, of Nuh, Hari Om alias Kuldeep, of Datia in Madhya Pradesh, and Jitender alias Jeetu, of Narnaul in Mahandergarh. A crime team led by sub-inspector Gunpal was able to track the suspects through tip-offs from their informants.
The police said the suspects are in their early 30s and are primary school drop outs. They have been involved in criminal activities since 2011 and have been jailed at least thrice since 2013. They were arrested for cases of loot, robbery, snatching, theft and violations of the Arms Act.
“Jitender and Irshad had met in Bhondsi Jail and started snatching mobile phones. Later, Hari Om joined them and gave them the idea of procuring weapons from Madhya Pradesh,” he said.
Sangwan said that the suspects used to target victims commuting in SUVs and luxury cars on isolated stretches near the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR), which leads to the Golf Course Extension Road and the Faridabad Road. “They used to follow victims and snatch their mobile phones and cash at gunpoint. Later, they sold the phones to a shopkeeper in Nuh for Rs 3,000-Rs 5,000, depending on the condition of the phone. Even newly bought phones were sold at throwaway prices. They used to sell 25 mobile phones per week and made Rs 80,000 from the shopkeeper, on an average. They have sold over 1,000 snatched mobile phones in the last one year and had maintained an inventory of the same,” he said.
The shopkeeper used to change the IMEI number and replace the tempered glass screen guards, and then sold it in Uttar Pradesh for higher prices, the police said.
According to the police, the gang had a target of robbing at least five mobile phones a day. They used to spend their money on maintaining their lifestyle, besides sending some to their family members. They were fond of expensive clothes, watches and shoes, and used to drink expensive liquor at prominent restaurants, the police said.
KK Rao, the commissioner of police, said, “Jitender is the gang’s kingpin. They used to rob people by brandishing pistols and they rarely shot at victims, as they (victims) easily handed over their phones to them. They also targeted women returning from work and they were most active in the stretches around Sohna Road, Golf Course Extension Road, Sector 29, Old Railway Road, Palam Vihar, Sector 57 and Sector 47.”
Rao said the gang had bought a second-hand Swift car for Rs 80,000 from the money they made by selling the phones. “Even during the lockdown, they were successful in snatching mobile phones. They have also stolen parked motorbikes from residential areas and sold them in Nuh and Uttar Pradesh. They have conducted a recce of the stretches with low visibility and no CCTV cameras, to evade being identified,” he said.
The suspects used to sell gold ornaments to a goldsmith in Nuh and Palwal, and they are also under the scanner, the police said. A crime team has been deployed in Nuh in plain clothes as the shop owner they sold the phones to is at large and his shop has been locked since Thursday morning, the police said.