Spate of VK bur­glar­ies cracked with ar­rest of 3 af­ter shootout

Ac­cused Recced Colonies Dur­ing Day, Re­turned At Night To Break Into Houses

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK |

New Delhi: The back-to­back bur­glar­ies in Vas­ant Kunj that had led to much protests by res­i­dents was solved with the ar­rest of three men who had opened fire at the po­lice team in the lo­cal­ity on Wed­nes­day night. The men were nabbed af­ter po­lice iden­ti­fied and tracked the Hyundai i10 car used as a get­away ve­hi­cle. They were found to be in­volved in at least a dozen bur­glar­ies in the past few months in Vas­ant Kunj and South Cam­pus.

The mas­ter­mind, Su­nil Ku­mar Meena, runs a car­wash ser­vice. He and his two friends recced the colonies dur­ing the day and re­turned later to break into the houses. Re­cently, the trio had been cap­tured on CCTV footage fir­ing at a guard at one of the colonies in Vas­ant Kunj.

Meena, Satish Chan­der (48) and Sa­ten­dra Ku­mar (30) were caught af­ter po­lice found the get­away car, iden­ti­fied from the dent on its bumper, parked near RK Pu­ram. DCP (south-west) Deven­der Arya said that the reg­is­tra­tion num­ber of the car, owned by Meena, was placed on a tracker and its move­ments mon­i­tored.

On Wed­nes­day night, cops got a spe­cific in­put and planned to in­ter­cept Meena near Teri School of Ad­vanced Stud­ies. See­ing the cops, he first tried to ram through the bar­ri­cades, but when the po­lice­men formed a cor­don, the car’s oc­cu­pants opened fire in a bid to es­cape. In re­tal­i­a­tion, the cops shot at the tyres of the car and de­flated them.

Meena lost con­trol of the car and rammed into a wall. The men left the car and ran, but were chased and over­pow­ered by the po­lice team. DCP Arya said, “The car, two coun­try-made pis­tols, a kni

The car, two coun­try-made pis­tols, a knife, house-break­ing equip­ment and fake num­ber­plates, were seized

Septem­ber 23

fe, fake num­ber­plates and house-break­ing equip­ment have been re­cov­ered from their pos­ses­sion.”

Dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion, Meena told the cops that he had com­pleted a di­ploma in me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing (au­to­mo­bile) and ran a car wash com­pany. Po­lice dis­cov­ered

that he was pre­vi­ously in­volved in 31 cases of rob­bery and bur­glary in var­i­ous parts of Delhi. He had first been ar­rested by Delhi Po­lice in 2016 and re­leased on bail around a year ago.

The modus operandi also be­came clear. Ku­mar and Chan­dra would go to pick up the car of a client for a wash. While at it, they would scru­ti­nise the area round to iden­tify houses as pos­si­ble tar­gets for bur­glar­ies. The three men mostly fo­cused on houses that were empty or whose oc­cu­pants were out for work from morn­ing to evening.

In 2011, Meena and three other men, in­clud­ing Ku­mar, be­gan car­ry­ing out rob­beries in var­i­ous parts of Delhi. While two of these men are still in ju­di­cial cus­tody, Meena and Ku­mar were re­leased on bail in De­cem­ber last year. The lat­ter has nine cases of rob­bery reg­is­tered against him.

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