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Spurt in snatchings: These are the men behind chain of terror in Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali

Coming from a family of bootleggers, Vicky started selling illicit liquor but didn’t find it lucrative enough and took to snatching chains; borthers Shubham Sehgal and Naman Sehgal took to snatching to fund their drug habit.

punjab Updated: Mar 18, 2018 12:55 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Spurt in snatchings,chain of terror,Chandigarh
Vicky, 32, is charged with committing 125 snatchings since his first arrested in 2005.(HT Photo)

Chandigarh has become the hunting ground for criminals from UP and Punjab in search of easy money. They snatch chains to fund their lavish lifestyle or drug habit. Shailee Dogra bones up on four notorious snatchers who have been striking terror in the tricity

The record-breaker

A 33-year-old from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, Vicky started his tryst with crime when he was in his late teens. He is charged with committing 125 snatchings in the tricity ever since he was first arrested in 2005.

“Vicky is a serial snatcher. He has been acquitted in some cases but convicted in about 45 cases ,” said superintendent of police (Operations), Ravi Kumar.

Vicky was earlier arrested by the police in October 2016 and released on bail in May this year. He lives in a rented accommodation in Sector 46 and is fond of a lavish lifestyle. Sources in the police say he has invested in property and has a house in Delhi where his wife and son live. He often organises cocktail parties for his associates.

Coming from a family of bootleggers, Vicky started selling illicit liquor but didn’t find it lucrative enough and took to snatching chains.

Cops say Vicky uses stolen two-wheelers for snatchings. He targets women, especially senior citizens, and generally draws them out by enquiring about a location of a particular place. The motorcycles used in the crime have fake registration numbers and the number plate is changed after every incident, the police said. Vicky is presently out of jail.

Brothers in crime

Shubham Sehgal (26) and Naman Sehgal (22), two brothers from Jalandhar, took to snatching to fund their drug habit. Today they are as accused in 12 cases in UT.

The brothers snatch gold chains and exchange them to buy drugs from a Khanna-based drug supplier with whom they strike deals on WhatsApp to dodge the police.

Sources in the police say, the two who dropped out after Class XII, took to crime after they got addicted to drugs. Relative newcomers to the city, they came here to look for jobs last year. They applied at a call centre in Sector 34, worked there for only a day or two before starting their snatchings.

Their journey in the world of crime started in 2013 when they were arrested with smack and detained in Kapurthala jail. It was there that the brothers came in contact with drug peddler Gurdeep Singh through a fellow inmate, Amrik Singh. After coming out on bail, Shubham and Naman started snatching chains in Jalandhar in exchange for which they would get drugs from Gurdeep.

Last September, they shifted their base to Chandigarh after running into trouble with the Jaladhar police in a case of mobile theft. They started staying as paying guests in Sector 22. They would use stolen motorcycles to target women walking in the streets or standing outside their houses during the day time.

The Bawarias

The Bawaria gang is the third player active in the tricity. Kalua, a member of the Bawaria gang from Shamli district in Uttar Pradesh, is presently in the custody of the Panchkula police. The UT police, which wants him in 12 cases, will be getting him on production warrants soon.

Kalua is accused of chain snatching and vehicle thefts in different parts of Chandigarh, Mohali, Punjab and Delhi. Sources in the police said the gang members offer prayers to their deity before embarking on a crime. They switch off their mobiles and stay on rent in places where they decide to commit their crimes.

Usually, they return to their villages after a theft and resurface to strike again. Like the others, they also use stolen vehicles to commit a theft or snatch a chain. They conduct a recce of the area before making a strike. When it comes to chain snatching, they generally ask the victim for directions before making away with her chain.

SP Ravi Kumar said the Bawarias don’t leave any trace as they return to their village and dispose of the gold in UP.

First Published: Mar 18, 2018 12:55 IST