The city police have arrested a gang of six persons who instigated juveniles to steal mobile phones.

They recovered 50 high-end mobile phones worth Rs. 6 lakh from the accused.

The racket came to light when the K.P. Agrahara police caught one of the boys red-handed. He led them to the other gang members.

According to the police, the accused, who hail from Jharkhand, worked for Suneel Kumar Mahato from Delhi. After stealing mobile phones from busy markets here over a few days, one of the gang members would take the loot to Delhi and hand it over to Mahato. Mahato used to give the accused a small percentage of the spoils, keeping the lion’s share for himself.

The gang was operating in the city for the past year and changed base frequently, police said. They are implicated in more than 100 cases of theft of mobile phones, most of which have already been disposed of in other States.

While the juveniles involved in the case have been handed over to the government home for boys, the other accused, Akshay Kumar (20), Amarnath Mahato (22), Vikram Kumar (20), Vikki Kumar (19), Vijay Kumar Mahato (20) and Samu Mahato (19) have been remanded in judicial custody.

The police said Suneel Mahato lured the boys from poor families across the country, promising them decent jobs in Bangalore. The boys were put up in a rented house and warned against compromising the operation.

Akshay would keep an eye on the boys.

Soon after the boys were produced before the Child Welfare Committee and taken to a government home, the committee received many calls from people claiming they were parents of the boys, requesting that they be let off. “But, we decided to send the boys to their hometowns with the help of our counterparts in Jharkhand,” BOSCO coordinator P.N. Basavraj told The Hindu.

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