A local folk singer, a painter and a former Delhi Home Guard were arrested along with their associate for a series of highway robberies. The modus operandi of the gang involved getting the drivers intoxicated by giving them drinks laced with sedatives, stripping the truck off its goods and leaving the driver unconscious on the road.
With their arrest, the police claim to have solved several cases of robbery and have recovered 162 cartons of life-saving medicines, 407 buckets of paint, 124 tablets of intoxicants and 100 bags of polythene granules (plastic danas). One of the accused, a former Home Guard, had run up debts by betting during the IPL.
Police said that the arrested have been identified as Pradeep Kumar, Somvir Singh, Deepak Verma, who was earlier a constable with Delhi Home Guard, and Yogesh Kumar. Police said that a case had been registered iat Narela police station on May 3 after a robbery, which occurred during the early hours of May 2, was reported there. According to the police, the truck driver in his statement said that he had collected 16 tonnes of imported plastic ‘danas’ from Tughlakabad which were to the transported to Narela.
The truck driver told the police that he had parked the truck at Narela and taken a nap. When he woke up, he realised he was intoxicated and that his truck was gone. Additional Commissioner of Police(Crime) Ashok Chand said that the crime branch had been working on certain leads regarding the movement of the gang since the case was registered. Last Friday, the police received information about two gang members who were to meet their associate in Narela.
“They were planning to meet in front of the Raja Harsh Chandra Hospital to sell off the plastic goods. We laid a trap and saw the two accused driving a white Bolero. They were later identified as Pradeep Kumar and Somvir Singh. Their interrogation led to the arrest of Deepak Verma, who purchased the stolen goods. Yogesh Kumar, who received the stolen goods, was arrested on Monday,” said Chand.
Chand added that the accused persons carried a bottle of water filled with Atvin tablets, which was used as a sedative. “In most cases, they overpowered the driver and forced them to drink the water by holding them at gunpoint. We are looking at their involvement in similar cases,” said Chand.
Pradeep Kumar, who earlier ran a dairy farm, confessed that he had started to rob trucks as he had fallen onto hard times. Somvir, a local folk singer from Haryana, had gone bankrupt and then met Pradeep a year ago. Desperately in need of money, the two decided to rob trucks on the highway.
The police said that Verma purchased the stolen goods at throwway prices and sold them at a higher price in the market. The fourth accused, Yogesh, told the police that he is a painter who sold his wares at a shop in Rohini. He took to crime because he was in debt, he confessed.
Police said they had solved similar cases of robbery reported from Gurgaon, Alipur and Narela.