Chain snatchers from UP struck gold in southern cities, arrested by Bengaluru police

The gang used to fly to south Indian cities from UP to rob women of their gold jewellery.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2017 20:37 IST
Rajesh Kumar  Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Chain snatcher,Gold rush,Bengaluru police
Bengaluru police arrest five-member of a chain snatchers gang who used to fly to south Indian cities from UP to rob women of their gold jewellery (HT Photo )

For a group of ingenious criminals from Western Uttar Pradesh it was a gold rush triggered by the craze for the glittering yellow metal among women in south India.

The group adopted ‘fly-and-rob’ modus operandi to target women wearing heavy jewellery in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, police said.

They used to fly to these cities and return home with the booty by train.

Ultimately, the proverbial long arm of the law caught up with them and the Bengaluru police on Thursday busted the gang, arresting the allegedly notorious chain snatchers Jai Prakash, Nitin Kumar, Jitendra Kumar, Kapil Kumar, Nand Kishore, all in the age group of 20-30 years.

The Bengaluru police recovered 20 gold chains worth Rs 20 lakh from their possession.

Talking to HT over phone, additional commissioner of police (Bengaluru) Seemant Kumar Singh said the accused told police during interrogation that they initially used to rob chains of women in the cities of west UP, Haryana and Delhi.

But they soon became frustrated as the chains that they snatched were either artificial or of low quality, he said.

It was then that they heard from an acquaintance settled in Bengaluru about the ‘craze’ for gold ornaments among women in south India.

Losing no time, the gang members visited Bengaluru in September and conducted a recce in busy market areas and localities of the city.

Their eyes lit up as they saw women moving freely on the streets with heavy gold ornaments. They decided to change their location from north to south India.

The gang needed a motorcycle to flee after accomplishing their job. Rather than obtaining a bike in Bengaluru, they got two gang members to drive their old, customised motorcycle from Shamli in UP to the Karnataka capital, covering 2,252 kilometres.

Posing as textile merchants, they took a room on rent in the city. Within two months, the gang robbed 30 women in Thilaknagar, JP Nagar, Kengeri, Jayanagar, RMC Yard, KS Layout, MICO Layout, Jhanaabharathi and Subramanyapura areas of the city.

The sudden spurt in chain snatching alarmed the Bengaluru police.

“The police increased patrol and started scanning CCTV footages from cameras installed on roads, markets, the airport and railway stations. Chain snatching is considered a serious crime in Bengaluru,” the additional commissioner of police said.

“The CCTV footage helped us in zeroing on the gang,” he added.

The footage showed the gang members coming out of the Bengaluru airport, robbing women on the streets of the city and going to the railway station to board trains for UP or Delhi.

On Thursday, the gang robbed women at various spots in Bengaluru on way to the railway station. Before they could board a train to UP, the police arrested them.

During interrogation, the gang members told the police that they had robbed ornaments of several women in Chennai and Hyderabad as well. They used to stay in a city for four to five days, rob women of their jewellery before returning to UP. Details of their crimes in Chennai and Hyderabad were not available.

Singh said, “Bengaluru police have constituted teams that will visit UP, Delhi and Haryana to probe the case and nab the remaining members of the gang.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2017 20:37 IST