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Advert helps Delhi police catch three robbers

Feb 28, 2024 06:10 AM IST

Based on the statement of the victim, the investigators checked more than 1,600 auto-rickshaws that carried the same advertisement

The advertisement of an Ayurvedic medicine on the back of an auto-rickshaw helped the Delhi Police arrest three suspects who robbed a 26-year-old tempo driver of his cellphone and a wallet containing 5,000 in RK Puram area in the early hours of February 19, police officers aware of the case said on Tuesday.

Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Rohit Meena said that around 1.30am on February 19, 26-year-old Ajay Kumar, who drives a min-truck, was headed towards Chhatarpur in his vehicle that was loaded with advertisement hoardings and banners. (Representational image)
Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Rohit Meena said that around 1.30am on February 19, 26-year-old Ajay Kumar, who drives a min-truck, was headed towards Chhatarpur in his vehicle that was loaded with advertisement hoardings and banners. (Representational image)

Based on the statement of the victim, the investigators checked more than 1,600 auto-rickshaws that carried the same advertisement over one week to identify the vehicle used in the crime, and arrest the suspects, the officers said. They said the suspects had repainted some parts of the auto to evade identification, but the ad of the Ayurvedic laxative made by an Indian pharmaceutical company was still there.

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Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Rohit Meena said that around 1.30am on February 19, 26-year-old Ajay Kumar, who drives a min-truck, was headed towards Chhatarpur in his vehicle that was loaded with advertisement hoardings and banners.

He was accompanied by two men who were hired for installing the hoardings and banners. When Kumar reached near IIT flyover, the front left tyre of the goods vehicle punctured. He parked the vehicle on the roadside, asked the two men to stay put, saying he was going to bring a new tyre, the DCP said.

Kumar crossed the road and was waiting for an auto-rickshaw, when an auto that already had two passengers in the rear seat stopped, and the driver asked him where he wished to go. Kumar told the driver to drop him at Azadpur in northwest Delhi. The driver demanded 400 and told Kumar that the other two passengers will deboard on the way. Kumar agreed and sat with the two passengers who were already inside the auto, the police said.

As the auto reached Africa Avenue in RK Puram Sector-12 area, one of the two passengers asked the driver to stop as he had to urinate. After the passenger went out, the other passenger and the auto driver asked Kumar to hand over all his cash and belongings to them. When Kumar resisted, the first passengers returned and inflicted cuts on his face, neck and right hand with a sharp object. Thereafter, they robbed Ajay of his cellphone and his wallet that contained 5,000 and identity documents. They dropped him at the crime scene and fled in the auto, said a police officer, aware of the case

“Since the there were no CCTV coverage near the crime scene, the only clue the police had that the auto used by the three criminals had an Ayurvedic medicine advertisement on its back. Investigators scanned footage from the CCTV cameras installed in the 500 metres radius and found that one of the 10 autos passing through the area around the same time had the same advertisement,” said DCP Meena.

The investigating team contacted the advertisement agency which said that the advertisement had been placed on more than 1,600 autos in Delhi-National Capital Region. The police then took out details of all such autos from the company and scrutinized them. “Through technical and manual investigation, the police verified the autos and spotted one auto bearing Haryana registration number. The mobile phone of the driver was obtained and he was identified as Abhishek Singh alias Bhola, a 28-year-old resident of Kailash Nagar, near Gandhinagar, in east Delhi.

“Abhishek was taken into custody and interrogated. He confessed to the crime and his further interrogation led to the recovery of the auto and arrest of his two partners in crime, identified as Harprit Singh,21, from Sangam Vihar in south Delhi, and Arun Kumar,23, also from Kailash Nagar. The trio revealed that they had committed many robberies, snatchings and thefts in Delhi. To escape from the police, they had repainted some parts of the auto,” added DCP Meena.

Police said Abhishek was previously involved in 18 crimes while Arun had four previous involvements. For Harprit, it was the first case.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Karn Pratap Singh has been writing on crime, policing, and issues of safety in Delhi for almost a decade. He covers high-intensity spot news, including terror strikes, serial blasts and security threats in the national capital.

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