8 men of gang involved in 100 snatching cases held

The main accused, 19-year-old Rohit Tunda, had formed this gang of snatchers in December 2017 after he ran out of money to buy drugs.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 10, 2018 09:33 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Crime in Gurgaon,Crime in Gurugram,Gurugram
The anti-snatching cell of Gurugram crime branch arrested eight members of the Tunda gang over the last four days. (HT Photo/Sanjeev Verma)

Officers of the Gurugram Police anti-snatching squad arrested eight members of a notorious gang of snatchers operating in the old city. The police arrested them from different places over the last four days and recovered 25 smartphones and five motorcycles from their possession. The accused were taken on remand on Friday.

The police busted the gang after a tip-off from an informer who was keeping an eye on their whereabouts.

The main accused, 19-year-old Rohit Tunda, a resident of Ashok Vihar Phase-3, had formed this gang of snatchers in December 2017 after he ran out of money to buy drugs, the police said.

He became friends with Kislay alias Alok, from Gurugram village, who took to crime after he was picked up by the police in connection with a theft in 2017. He had been jailed twice previously, in 2015 and 2016, in connection with two theft cases. To avoid being traced, he used to live with the gang members in their rented room in Bhimgarh Kheri village in Sector 5 and did not keep in touch with his family, the police said.

In a bid to overcome their financial woes, Tunda proposed they form the gang in December 2017, the police said.

The gang members never wore helmets or covered their faces while snatching or looking for a victim on the streets.

“The gang members were overconfident and never thought they could be identified. They borrowed two-wheelers from their friends and neighbours and removed their number plates before committing the crimes. Later, they affixed the plates and returned the vehicles after filling petrol,” ACP (crime) Shamsher Singh said.

Tunda used to assign tasks to the gang members and when he was not around, his second-in-command, Tarun, took the responsibility.

“They only snatched smartphones and handbags of women. The mobiles were not used to make any calls. They either sold them or kept them for streaming videos or listening to music. In the majority of cases, they used the mobile phones at shops as security deposit in exchange for clothes, groceries, liquor and fast food,” sub-inspector Sandeep Kumar, in-charge, anti-snatching squad of Gurugram police, said.

The gang members were known to be very friendly and helped teenagers in their localities, police said, adding that even senior citizens in their neighbourhoods took a liking to them.

“We were tracking their activities and when they were identified, residents in their neighbourhoods couldn’t believe that they could ever commit any crime. They were even caught in the act on CCTV cameras. They largely operated in Civil Lines, Sector 14, Sector 9 and Palam Vihar,” Kumar said.

Police said when persons buying the stolen mobile phones, asked for bills, Tunda handed them a photocopy of his Aadhaar card. They said the phones were mostly sold to people known to them.

Police recovered the mobile phones stolen from residents in Sector 5, Bhimgarh Kheri village, labourers, and shopkeepers. “We have taken them on remand and an investigation is on to find out if there’s anyone else involved or if there’s any other gang operating in the area,” Kumar said.

The accused confessed to having committed 25 snatchings across the city.

“Tunda is a notorious snatcher and is involved in all 25 cases. They did not fix any time for their operations but committed their crimes only when Tunda asked them to get cash,” Kumar said.

First Published: Jun 10, 2018 09:25 IST