On May 31, the anti-auto theft squad (AATS) of the southeast district arrested four people for allegedly committing motor vehicle theft and cheating. The arrests were part of the team’s crackdown on auto-lifters in the area, led by its in-charge Love Atrey, an inspector-ranked officer.
But days later, the team had a more pressing concern on its hands: Unidentified persons had allegedly stolen a Swift car that belonged to Atrey — from right outside his home in south Delhi’s Sheikh Sarai. Several teams of the south and southeast districts were formed to look into the matter. DCP (south district) Ishwar Singh confirmed the incident and said they have registered an FIR. He maintained that vehicle thefts have dropped drastically this year.
Sources said Atrey, who lives with his family in Sheikh Sarai’s L-Block, Phase-II, informed police about the incident on June 3. “The incident took place in the intervening night of June 2-3 around 3.30 am,” a police source said.
Sources said the inspector had purchased the ‘Granite Grey’ coloured car around six months ago. “The family came to know about the incident when they woke up and informed police. A crime team of the south district visited the spot under the supervision of ACP (Malviya Nagar). A forensic team was also called in to lift fingerprints and footprints,” sources said. Subsequently, an e-FIR was filed.
Personnel from the Malviya Nagar police station and special staff of the south district have been put on the case. An AATS team of the southeast district has, meanwhile, started checking dossiers of repeat offenders.
Sources said senior officers have instructed the teams to crack the case as soon as possible. “Police have started questioning security guards and drivers who work nearby, as well as others who live in the area. Prima facie, it appears that the theft could be the handiwork of auto-lifters from UP or Haryana,” an officer said.
Investigators have not found any CCTV footage from the spot, sources said. “Police also discovered that the car was not secured with high-end anti-theft devices. The vehicle had a Delhi registration number,” the officer said.
Atrey, who has been part of several special operation teams, joined the AATS of the southeast district following a promotion. Since he joined, the team had arrested around 10 people for their alleged involvement in auto-lifting, and solved over 15 cases.