56-yr-old kingpin’s arrest solves seven Panchkula robberies
The 56-year-old kingpin, Satpal Singh, used to conduct a recce of the area in the guise of a taxi driver, said police.punjab Updated: Oct 07, 2017 13:26 IST
The Panchkula police on Friday claimed to have arrested the kingpin of a gang that executed at least seven robberies in Panchkula in the past decade.
In the latest incident, the gang had shot at and looted Rs 2.5 lakh from an accountant of a private firm in the Industrial Area on August 11 before absconding in an Alto car.
- November 2007: Snatched Rs 4.8 lakh from two youths near Amartex in Industrial Area
- March 2008: Snatched Rs 40,000 from two men in Sector 5
- August 2009: Looted Rs 2 lakh at a petrol pump in Sector 5
- February 2012: Rs 16 lakh looted from a bank van near Vishal Mega Mart in Sector 5
- May 2012: Shoot at, snatch Rs 4.5 lakh from an ICICI bank customer in Sector 12
- January 2013: Rs 7.5 lakh looted at gunpoint in Sector 14
- August 2017: Shoot at an accountant of a private firm in Industrial Area, loot Rs 2.5 lakh
The gang is also involved in the robberies at a filling station in 2009 and bank cash van loot in 2012, both in Sector 5 here. The 56-year-old kingpin, Satpal Singh, used to conduct a recce of the area in the guise of a taxi driver, said police.
He executed the latest crime along with his aide Sukhjit Singh of Amritsar, who is absconding.Police have recovered the Alto car, but the pistol with which he shot at the accountant is untraceable, said police.
CCTV footage helped trace him
“A glimpse of the accused in a video footage helped us trace him,” said inspector Suraj Chawla, who was leading the crime branch team that arrested Satpal. “During interrogation, we were surprised to know that he had a major role in several crimes in the past decade.”
Panchkulapolice commissioner AS Chawla said the accused has confessed to having committed seven snatching and robberies. “We have got his remand till October 11 to look into his involvement in other crimes and trace his gang members,” he said.
Worked as taxi driver
Operating along with at least three other accomplices, Satpal worked as a taxi driver. Hailing from Thera village in Amritsar, he had been living with his family in Kansal village on the outskirts of Sukhna Lake. He has two sons.
Police did not reveal if his family knew about his criminal background, although his elder brother might be involved, they said.“He used his brother’s pistol to execute the August 11 loot. Probe is underway to find if family was also involved,” said the commissioner.
Zen, Etios, Alto — infamous by many names
In late 2000s, the gang became infamous by the name of White Zen gang after executing armed snatchings in Panchkula. Then the gang shifted to an Etios car, before moving to the Alto. Chawla said Satpal could not be arrested, as after each crime he used to lay low for months before striking again.
Their modus operandi was simple, said Chawla. The gang kept an eye on people who withdrew heavy cash from banks or ATMs.“The moment such persons came out, the gang used to follow them and waylay them at a secluded place. If anyone resisted, they used to shoot them,” said the police commissioner.