Be on guard while attending a marriage ceremony, particularly a lavish one. The Delhi Police is running after a Madhya Pradesh-based gang of thieves who target guests in marriage halls in South Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. The gang members enter wedding venues as guests and mingle with others. They employ children for targeting unsuspecting guests and steal cash and valuables, including gold ornaments.
Explaining their modus-operandi, a senior police officer said that there was a gang of around eight to ten people, all natives of Kadiya village in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. Every year, they come to the Capital, especially in November. These criminals have sleight of hand when it comes to stealing ornaments.
“They only target marriage halls and farmhouses where marriages and other functions are organised. They enter the halls as guests and usually snatch gold ornaments,” the officer added. Several cases have been reported in the last one month. Police are now scanning the footage of a family of four with two small children.
In a recent incident of burglary that occurred at a marriage function in Mallu Farm in Mehrauli, a woman lost cash and ornaments worth around Rs 10 lakh. In a similar incident at Polo farmhouse in South-West Delhi’ Kapashera, the same gang members stole gold ornaments worth Rs 5 lakh from the changing room. “Police went through the recording of CCTVs installed in the marriage hall and found that a woman, along with three minors, including a girl, was found moving in the marriage hall and stealing jewellery. Their images were caught on camera and investigators are looking for them,” police sources said. The gang members have been divided in groups.
One group comprises only male members who keep a close watch on the operations. The other consists of their wives and children. The male members give them the location of the marriage parties. Then the other members enter the wedding halls as guests. "The women members start finding out the best catches and pass on the information to the children who do the needful. In case, the children are caught, in most cases they are released from the spot considering their age," police said, adding that the children in the age group of 8 to 12 years are sent to various big cities along with adult members of the gang. The booty is sent back to the children's parents who in turn give a certain percentage of it to these helpers.
Around six months ago, one of the members of the gang, Bunty (21), was arrested from South Delhi in mobile theft case. He told the police about the his Madhya Pradesh-based gang of bag lifters. The gang rented an accommodation in Govind Puri in November last year and purchased branded clothes.
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