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Member of ‘Ashu gang’, which stole SUVs to rob petrol pumps, held in Ghaziabad

The police on Saturday arrested his aide Kapil Panchal, 20, - a member of the Ashu gang - who was involved in stealing a Renault Duster SUV from Masuri area on the night of May 9.

noida Updated: May 19, 2019 12:18 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times, Ghaziabad
ashu gang,crime,gang involved in stealing SUVs in ghaziabad
Kapil Panchal, part of the ‘Ashu gang’, involved in stealing a Duster SUV, after his arrest in Ghaziabad on Saturday.(Sakib Ali / HT Photo )

The police on Saturday arrested a member of the ‘Ashu gang’ that allegedly steals SUVs and robs petrol pumps and shops to earn quick money.

The police said that its gang leader Ashu carries a reward of Rs 50,000 for his arrest and has been a former member of the ‘Mirchi gang’ (the gang’s modus operandi was to throw chilly powder over the victims and then rob them).

The police on Saturday arrested his aide Kapil Panchal, 20, who was involved in stealing a Renault Duster SUV from Masuri area on the night of May 9. Kapil told the police that he is a student of Class 12 at an inter college in Muradnagar. The police said other gang members apart from Ashu and Kapil were involved in the incident and later used the same car to rob a petrol pump staff in Gulaothi in Bulandshahr district and another petrol pump at Partapur in Meerut district.

“They looted Rs 50,000 from Gulaothi petrol pump and Rs 20,000 from the Partapur petrol pump. About seven-eight members of Ashu’s gang have been arrested by the police in Ghaziabad, Hapur and Meerut districts. The gang has recently adopted this modus operandi of stealing SUVs and using them to rob petrol pumps or shops. The gang also stole a Brezza from Gautam Budh Nagar on April 13 and looted several shops using it as a getaway vehicle in Gajraula and Ghaziabad,” Neeraj Kumar Jadaun, superintendent of police (rural), said.

According to police sources, Ashu is from Kazipura village in Ghaziabad.

After he was jailed and obtained bail about six or seven months ago, he formed his own gang and found a new modus operandi to loot SUVs and rob petrol pumps and shops in the western UP districts of Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Hapur, Meerut, Ghaziabad as well as Amroha.

The police said that the Maruti Brezza SUV looted from Gautam Budh Nagar was used in a petrol pump robbery at Gajraula on the night of April 23, in which Ashu and his gang robbed the staff of Rs 45,000 at gunpoint. Before this, they used the same car during two back-to-back robberies at two stores in Ghaziabad on the night of April 17.

During the incident, two shop owners, on the night of April 17, were robbed in Govindpuram and Shastri Nagar localities in Ghaziabad. CCTV camera footage showed several armed men of the gang in the white Brezza.

“Our teams are trying to trace Ashu, who is carrying a reward of ₹50,000 and is about 26-years-old. Ashu’s gang primarily targets petrol pumps as they remain open during the night. We estimate that he has a gang of about 18-20 young men who he lures with the promise of quick money. About seven-eight members of the gang have been arrested so far,” Jadaun added.

First Published: May 19, 2019 12:18 IST