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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Delhi: Mewat gangs under scanner for ATM thefts

A senior police officer said the first three incidents took place in the Eastern range on December 16. A group of five men arrived in black Scorpio and entered an ATM kiosk in East Delhi's Gazipur.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | January 4, 2021 4:16:00 am
Delhi ATM thefts, Mewat gang under scanner, Delhi police, Delhi news, Indian express newsAfter registering FIRs in three separate districts, senior officials called a meeting to discuss the progress of the probe.

Six ATM units were stolen over two nights last month causing a loss of over Rs 52 lakh. Police suspect several gangs from Haryana’s Mewat, driving SUVs and wearing masks, are behind the thefts.

A senior police officer said the first three incidents took place in the Eastern range on December 16. A group of five men arrived in black Scorpio and entered an ATM kiosk in East Delhi’s Gazipur. They disabled the CCTV camera using spray paint. “Within minutes, they uprooted the cash dispensing machine — containing Rs 4 lakh — using a gas cutter. A few hours later, they went to Geeta Colony in Shahdara district where they uprooted another ATM using the same modus operandi. But they were able to steal only Rs 35,000 as the machine wasn’t working. At 2.15 am, they reached Northeast Delhi’s Khajuri Khas and made off with Rs 13.85 lakh,” the officer said.

After registering FIRs in three separate districts, senior officials called a meeting to discuss the progress of the probe. It was found that a Mewat gang was operating with around half-a-dozen men, targeting only unguarded ATMs during odd hours. “Police also found CCTV footage, but the car registration plate was unclear. Several teams of the crime branch and special cell have been roped in to nab the accused,” said the officer.

Even as the teams were working on the cases, a second gang targeted three ATMs in West Delhi on December 25.

“Police scanned CCTV footage from the first kiosk in Punjabi Bagh and found that the accused, who came in a white Creta with a sunroof, had uprooted the cash dispensing machine using a gas cutter. At the second ATM in Kirti Nagar, the bank’s security branch in Mumbai noticed suspicious activity and alerted their patrolling squad. But before the squad arrived, the accused escaped. At 2.37 am, they were seen inside a third ATM booth in Naraina. But they heard sirens and escaped — before returning at 3.47 am to complete the theft. In all, they stole Rs 36 lakh,” the officer said, adding that in all six cases, the accused took the DVRs with them.

Sources said police identified one of the accused in the second gang through the car and conducted a raid in Mewat, but he and his accomplices fled. “He was earlier arrested in a similar case,” sources said.

Meanwhile, in yet another incident on December 6, police said a third gang of three-four men allegedly targeted an unguarded ATM kiosk in Dwarka. Police later arrested three men from Mewat.

DCP (Dwarka) Santosh Kumar Meena said, “The accused hoped police would be busy handling the farmers’ agitation and would not be able to track them. During questioning, they disclosed that one of them arranged for a gas cutter and another picked an ATM with minimum security. They returned to commit another theft but our alert team arrested them.”

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