A man allegedly involved in over 500 burglaries in eight states across the country was arrested earlier this week from a mall in east Delhi where he had come to meet an associate. He was arrested by a special team led by Sub-inspector Vinay Yadav and Inspector Kharak Singh Rawat.
According to police, Nadeem Yusuf Bangali Qureshi alias Kapil Harbir Tyagi (38) has been committing thefts for the past 21 years and has been caught only four times in that period.
“Qureshi has committed burglaries in eight states — Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana,” said DCP (east) B S Gurjar. He would often fly to Mumbai and Pune along with his associates to break into homes, said police.
In Delhi, he targeted apartments such as IFS, Hindustan Times and Supreme Enclave apartments, and several bungalows in south Delhi. In Pune, he targeted areas such Hinjewadi, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Nigdi, Warje, Sahakarnagar, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Sangvi and Chatuhshrungi. “He even purchased land for Rs 1.5 crore in New Mumbai and has some unnamed properties in his name,” said police sources.
Police said Qureshi lives in an affluent apartment in Noida along with his wife and three children, who study in the best schools. He has property worth Rs 10 crore and three luxury cars, which are all falsely booked in the names of his relatives, added police.
“He met another thief Bunty Chor, in Tihar Jail when he was arrested in 2007,” said the sources.
A senior officer said, “He was 20 years when he committed his first theft — he stole cattle from his village in Faridnagar, Uttar Pradesh. He was first arrested in 1999 on charges of attempt to murder in a cattle-stealing case.”
After his arrest, Qureshi was sent to Dasna Jail where he met, Kalicharan alias Kalu, who became his mentor, added the officer. “He came out of jail after learning new tricks. He has broken 500 house locks so far,” he added.
Police said he would rob only posh apartments and would never make a telephone call from his personal number. “The Special Cell has been looking for Qureshi since November, after the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch zeroed in on him while investigating a burglary. They found that his car, with a UP number plate, was seen at three crime scenes. They later approached Delhi Police and shared details of the cases. However, no one was aware of his current location,” said the officer.
After a recent raid by the Special Cell, Qureshi called his parents from a friend’s phone. He also asked his wife to move out along with their children and go into hiding. “Qureshi’s call to his parents was intercepted, following which police tracked the location of his friend’s phone. On Thursday, police found out that he would be coming to meet an associate at Cross River Mall in east Delhi, from where he was nabbed,” the officer added.
During questioning, police said Qureshi disclosed that the ‘Nadeem gang’ would mostly choose apartments where the security guards were inattentive or too old. “They would drive luxury cars, such as Honda City and Skoda, and wear expensive clothes to dodge the guards. They would hide the instruments (to break door latches) and two of them would then enter the society and head to the blocks located at the back,” said the officer.
Police said they would go to the top floor of the buildings and target flats that were locked from the outside. “They would break open the locks and steal only cash and jewellery so that the stolen items could not be traced to them,” said an officer.
The Crime Branch of Navi Mumbai Police, which had conducted several raids in the past three months, are planning to take Qureshi into custody on a transit remand. Mathura Police is also seeking his remand in a murder case.