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22-yr-old who ran robbery school in Delhi nabbed: Cops

PUBLISHED ON MAY 31, 2020 11:44 PM IST

New Delhi: A 22-year-old man who ran a “robbery training school” from his house in outer Delhi’s Bawana was arrested after an encounter, police said on Sunday.

The police said the suspect, Manish, started the “school” in his house in the area’s JJ Colony after getting bail from prison in a snatching case earlier this year.

“He has 17 known snatching cases registered against him. After his release from jail in February, he decided he would not be directly involved in robberies and would instead make money by training young snatchers and robbers, and from taking a cut on their earnings,” said Gaurav Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (outer-north).

So, Manish allegedly scouted for youngsters — minors and adults — who were keen to enter the trade.

“He would bring them to his house in Bawana’s JJ Colony and train them to identity targets like pedestrians and cyclists and snatch from them without getting caught. He also trained them on what neighbourhoods to choose and getaway routes strategically,” Sharma said.

It remained unclear how many robberies were allegedly carried out by Manish’s trainees, but the police said they were alerted of the presence of Manish’s school by one of his trainees, Kuldeep, who was arrested on May 24 for a snatching in Bawana.

“In the early hours of Friday, on the basis of a tip-off, we set up a trap in Bawana. When Manish and his two associates driving a van were signalled to stop, they rammed the police barricades and tried to get away,” Sharma said. Once intercepted, Manish allegedly fired at the police team, who fired back in response. No one was hurt in the brief exchange. The police went on to recover two guns and 20 allegedly stolen mobile phones from the gang.

Another investigator not authorised to speak to the media said Manish charged between 20% and 50% as commission on the after-sale value of the robbed items.

“While we caught Manish’s associates, Hazibul Sheikh and a minor, Manish ran down a drain to escape. But he hurt his foot in the process, and we caught him,” said the other investigator.

Sharma said Manish would also train them on how to cover their faces and avoid having any signs on themselves and their motorcycles that could lead to them being identified.

“He would also provide them motorcycles to carry out the robberies and take care of their legal needs in case anyone got caught,” the officer said.

In return, his apprentices would pay him a share of their earnings.

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