The Crime Branch of the UT Police has arrested five persons involved in motor vehicle thefts. With the arrest of these five persons,the police has recovered eighteen stolen cars. All the five accused were produced in court on Wednesday and four of them were remanded to police custody till April 7 while the fifth one was remanded to judicial custody.
Along with the cars recovered by the Crime Branch team,fake documents of seven of those cars which were to be sold by the accused have also been recovered. The accused have been identified as Praveen Kumar,a resident of district Sonipat,Shamsher Singh,a resident of Rohtak,Shahnawaz,Irfan and Asim,residents of Meerut.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP),Crime,Satbir Singh,said,Praveen Kumar is the kingpin and had formulated this gang about a decade ago.
Praveen was detained by the police on March 23 and subsequently the others were arrested. Praveen has an expertise of stealing the cars with the help of screw drivers and rulers. He had been stealing the vehicles,which were later prepared by the rest of the gang members and were sold in Punjab,Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, said DSP Satbir.
According to the police,Praveen is a habitual offender and had been arrested in 12 cases of vehicle theft registered with the various police stations of Chandigarh. Apart from vehicle thefts,Praveen was also arrested in 15 cases of dacoity,robbery and under NDPS Act and Arms Act in Banaras,Delhi,Nabha etc.
Vehicles stolen by Praveen Kumar,with the help of the other gang members,were given to the accused Shahnawaz and his son Asim. DSP Satbir said,Shahnawaz and Asim are experts in changing the engine and chassis numbers of the car. We have recovered the instruments used for changing the engine and chassis numbers. A grinder machine,five kits of English alphabets,A to Z,digits from 0 to 9,hammer,etc have been recovered from their possession.
Shamsher Singh,the fourth accused,prepared fake documents like registration certificates and insurance papers of all the stolen vehicles. These were then sold to persons in various parts of Punjab. According to the police,Shamsher was also arrested by UT Police in November 2011. He was found tampering with the number plate of a car in Sector 39. Shamsher is also an under-trial in a cheating case registered with Palwal Police.
The fifth accused,Irfan,was a helping hand for the alleged kingpin Praveen. While Praveen,Shamsher,Shanawaz and Asim are in police custody till April 7,Irfan was remanded to judicial custody.
Out of the 18 cars,six vehicles were stolen from Chandigarh,two from Delhi,one from Rudarpur,Uttrakhand and one from Samrala,Punjab. Registration numbers of all the vehicles were replaced with fake numbers of Punjab and Haryana.
We are apprehending that the number of cars stolen and sold may be much more. Investigations for the same are going on. About half a dozen persons to whom the gang had sold the cars have been identified. These persons have agreed to testify against the five accused, DSP Satbir said.