THE CHANDIGARH Police on Thursday busted a gang of vehicle lifters and arrested three persons, including two brothers. The police recovered a total of 14 stolen vehicles — 11 cars and three two-wheelers — having a combined worth of around Rs 75 lakh. With the arrest of the accused, the police claimed to have solved 14 vehicle theft cases registered at different police stations of the city.
The accused were identified as Subham Gautam, Vineet Gautam — both brothers and residents of Phase 1, Mohali — and Wazid, a resident of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The fourth member of the gang identified as Sajid is absconding and police parties are conducting raids to arrest him.
UT Senior Superintendent of Police Sukchain Singh Gill said that the accused preferred to steal Mahindra Bolero jeeps and Hyundai Verna cars as the locks of these vehicles were easier to break.
The accused also confessed to have committed 40 vehicle thefts in the city and neighbouring areas.
The SSP added that both Subham and Vineet were professional thieves and they were arrested by the Haryana Police last year. They were lodged in Ambala jail and were released in May this year.
While sharing profiles of the accused, the SSP said that Subham and Vineet were school dropouts and their parents lived separately. Both were unemployed and started stealing the vehicles. They came in contact with Saharanpur-based scrap dealers Wazid and his brother Sajid, and connived with them to sell the stolen cars in UP.
The crime branch of the local police received a tip-off that Vineet and Subham are in the city and were using two stolen bikes. Acting on the tip-off, two teams of anti-auto theft squad headed by Inspector Gurmukh Singh set up a naka near Sector 17 bus stand and another naka was set up near Nayagaon.
The crime branch teams succeeded in arresting Subham near Nayagaon while Vineet was arrested near Sector 17 Bus Stand. The police also recovered two stolen Pulsar bikes. The accused put fake number plates on the bikes.
During the preliminary interrogation, the accused told the police that after stealing the vehicles, they used to take them to Saharanpur where Sajid and Wazid helped them in selling the vehicles after preparing forged documents.
The accused also told the police that out of the total stolen vehicles, they disposed of 24 vehicles with the help of Sajid and Wazid while the police managed to recover 11 cars — Innova, four Verna cars, one Lancer, one Zen Estilo, one Accent, one Swift, one Bolero and one Optra car — three two-wheelers.
Wazid was arrested from Saharanpur.
Subham and Vineet used to steal vehicles as per the demand of Sajid and Wazid. Both the brothers would carry out a recce in the city and steal the vehicles by opening locks with the master keys. They also used to steal sports bikes for doing stunts.