A 46-year-old businessman was fast asleep when he woke up to the sound of footsteps. He saw a young man dressed in a red jacket in his dining room, taking money and two golden rings from his wife’s purse. Before he could raise an alarm, the youth leapt off the second floor to reach his neighbour’s terrace.
When a team from Kirti Nagar police station reached, they discovered it was the handiwork of a man who had earned the moniker ‘Spiderman of Mansarovar Park’. The 5 foot 2 inch youth, often dressed in a red jacket, would enter homes of businessmen, factory owners and chartered accountants by climbing walls using pipes or iron grills, and steal cash, gold jewellery and anything else kept outside almirahs. On Wednesday, police caught up with the youth, 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who has seven previous criminal cases.
Kumar, police said, had got residents of Mansarovar Park paranoid. “The ease with which he entered and left homes, people were scared they could be murdered in their sleep. He mostly sported a red jacket and would climb as high as the third floor. An eight-member team was tasked with catching him,” said an officer.
Kumar, a part-time DJ, often did it “for the thrill”, targeting homes when owners were present, and sometimes not taking all he could, police said. “He left a person’s mobile on the balcony after stealing their cash,” said an officer.
His haul included a diamond ring, two gold bangles and Rs 4,000 from a factory owner’s home; Rs 4 lakh, three gold rings and a gold chain from a residence when the family was away; and Rs 20,000, two gold bangles and a gold pendant from a CA’s house.
Police claim he spent the money on gambling and alcohol.
In each case, he would enter through balconies with their doors open, which meant he didn’t have to break or pick any locks.
Roughly 25 km away in Vishnu Garden, Kumar’s parents stay in a one-room rented home. “Our landlord wants us to move out. This is not the first time this is happening because of our son,” his mother said.
When Kumar dropped out of Class 3, his father felt his son could help him out in his printing press job. “He went to jail last year too, and spent five months inside. But we eventually accepted him into the family,” his father said, adding that he broke his arm climbing stairs two years ago.
His nickname may be Spiderman, but Kumar’s younger brother said there’s a slim chance he knows about the comic book character.
On his choice of the red jacket, his mother said: “We traditionally do not wear black, the family prefers bright colours. Anil had bought the red jacket for a wedding.”