Car thief who went under knife to change identity held

His modus operandi was to locate vehicles of a particular make and colour, declared as ‘total loss’ by insurance companies.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:October 23, 2017 2:51 am
The accused before and after surgery

Delhi Police nabbed an alleged auto-lifter who had undergone plastic surgery in order to hide his identity. Police said the accused, identified as Kunal alias Sanjay alias Rahul alias Vijay alias Tanuj Kumar Mehta, 35, headed a gang that targeted expensive cars.

DCP (southeast) Romil Baaniya said Kunal was arrested near Nehru Place on October 13. “During questioning, he disclosed the names of two of his associates, Irshad and Mohammad Shadab, who were arrested from Ghaziabad,” the DCP said.

Kunal possessed firearms and had a history of firing at police personnel, the DCP added. Police said in 2012, he underwent plastic surgery to evade arrest.

“Before the surgery, he went by the name of Tanuj. He underwent surgery to give himself a new identity and to evade arrest in cases under which he was declared a proclaimed offender. He has previously been involved in over 62 cases of auto lifting in Delhi and neighbouring states,” Baaniya said.

His modus operandi was to locate vehicles of a particular make and colour, declared as ‘total loss’ by insurance companies. These vehicles, along with documents, were then purchased by the gang from the scrap dealers at a higher rate, a police officer said.

“While the ‘total loss’ vehicle is disposed of as scrap, the documents of the vehicles were retained. In the next step, the gang members targeted a vehicle of similar make and colour. They would then steal the targeted vehicle and a team of forgers would alter the original engine and chassis number to that of the ‘total loss’ vehicle,” added the officer.

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