New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) The Delhi Police has arrested one member of a gang of thieves who would pose as deaf and mute orphans to gain people's sympathy and access to their houses, and steal their valuables.
The police claimed that with the arrest of the 19-year-old Venkatesh, a native of Andhra Pradesh, they have solved five cases of burglaries in Hazrat Nizamuddin, South Campus, Lajpat Nagar and Rajinder Nagar area of Delhi, and one case in Uttar Pradesh's Noida.
According to a police officer, a case of burglary was reported in Jungpura of Nizamuddin on January 16 in which the victim, a lawyer by profession, stated that some unidentified persons entered his house and stole his two Apple MacBooks, a Bose portable speaker and several other miscellaneous items.
A case under sections 380 (committing theft in any building) and 454 (lurking, house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) was registered at the Nizamuddin police station and a team led by sub-inspectors Akash Tomar and Jitendra was formed to pursue the case.
With the help of CCTV cameras and local intelligence, the team managed to apprehend Venkatesh from Sarai Kale Khan in southeast Delhi. They recovered the stolen items pertaining to the case, the officer said.
On his instance, other stolen items connected with different cases of Delhi-NCR were also recovered, he said.
During interrogation, Venkatesh said he and his associates sought financial aid from unsuspecting people by showing printed pamphlets which presented themselves as deaf and mute. They would also carry a bag to keep the stolen items.
While roaming in localities between 8 am and 10 am, they targeted the vulnerable houses, which were found to be open, the officer said.
During the morning time, the residents usually remain busy in their work and often lower their guards about unknown people at the door, the officer further said.
Posing themselves as deaf and mute and standing at the door of houses with pamphlets in their hands, they would demand financial aid. By the time the house owner got busy leaving the doors open, the thieves stole their valuables.
The pamphlets recovered from them had messages like "Request to Public" and "issued on behalf of an orphanage charity school" written on it, the officer said. It was written on the pamphlets that the donation was for "deaf and dumb" and "orphans".
Venkatesh also told the police that his other associates are from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and commit similar crimes in various parts of Delhi and NCR, the officer said.
Another officer said CCTV footage were scanned during the investigation of the Jangpura case, which also revealed the same person had committed a theft in Lajpat Nagar in May, 2023. He had stolen Apple MacBook and a laptop from there.
"Venkatesh has confessed to committing three more similar burglaries in South Campus, Rajinder Nagar and Noida," the officer added.
The police have recovered six laptops, three mobile phones, one DSLR digital camera along with lens, one tablet, three smart watches and one JBL speaker from Venkatesh.
The police of other districts in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have been informed about the gang and their modus operandi, the official added. PTI ALK KSS TIR TIR