A 23-year-old man — touted to be the kingpin of an auto-lifters’ gang — was arrested an hour after he allegedly stole a woman’s handbag after puncturing her car tyres in Saket, police said. Such gangs — known as thak thak gangs — first distract drivers either by knocking on car windows or by puncturing tyres. They then flee with valuables from inside the car.
On October 21, the complainant approached police and said her handbag containing Rs 55,000, mobile phone, ID cards and bank passbooks were stolen. The complainant told police she noticed the punctured tyre near Dhaula Peer and stopped to fix it. Two bike-borne men stopped and offered help, she said in her complaint. “As one of them pretended to help, the other stole her bag. Soon, both fled,” police said, adding that one of the two men, Suraj, was nabbed within an hour. The stolen handbag and a t-shaped iron piece was seized from him, police said. During questioning, Suraj confessed that he leads a ‘thak-thak’ gang and disclosed the name of the co-accused, DCP (south) Ishwar Singh said.