The recent arrest of three members revealed that they were gathering information about people carrying money

Thieves do lot of ground work before striking at their prospective victims.

Normally, they would keep an eye on the locality and zero in on locked houses or shops.

Similarly, the members of ‘attention diversion gangs’ also carefully choose their victims.

They don’t target any person on the road but wait at banks or business establishments to identify those carrying cash or valuables. They would approach them casually, divert their attention and flee with valuables.

The recent arrest of three members, members of a gang that allegedly committed two robberies in 2011 at Ramgopalpet and Begum Bazaar, revealed that they were gathering information about people carrying money and attacking them.

Some gangs are specifically assigning tasks of collecting details of businessmen or employees of shops - who carry cash on day-to-day basis for different needs - to their members.

These individuals would go around business localities in various parts of the city like Siddiamber Bazaar, Secunderabad Pot Market or other commercial localities in the guise of some petty businessmen.

“In some cases they pose as commission agents for different goods and befriend lower rung workers of shops. The unsuspecting workers unknowingly pass on information of cash flows and deposits to these agents,” an investigator said.

They would not stop at that. The gang members would stalk for some days the persons carrying cash to confirm if the inputs they received are correct.

Later, they would decide upon the time and the place convenient to attack the target. Naresh alias Kittaiah of Kamatipura in Mangalhat is one such person used by a gang recently busted by the Commissioner’s Task Force to feed information about possible targets. He is still at large.

Naresh’s is not an isolated case. Ramesh Lalla from Delhi had developed a network of agents in Hyderabad to keep tab on persons indulging in ‘hundi’ business or hawala transactions –an illegal system of transferring huge sums of money from abroad to India and from one city to another within the country.

So precise is his information and calculated are his moves that he comes from Delhi to Hyderabad, attacks people carrying cash as part of hawala transactions and returns to Delhi with the booty.

Police found that in many cases, the victims didn’t even approach them since their transactions too are illegal though some preferred to lodge complaints.

Police have spread out dragnets for the Naresh, Ramesh Lalla and the latter’s agents but are sceptical of nabbing the offenders as they have little inputs about their movements.

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