Delhi

Juvenile behind Lajpat Nagar heist

Was employed at office of businessman who was robbed

A juvenile employee of Rajesh Kalra was the brain behind the Rs.7.69 crore heist in Lajpat Nagar on Tuesday this week. The 17-year-old boy who worked as an office boy at Mr. Kalra’s office allegedly planned the heist by roping in his other associates, the Delhi Police said on Saturday.

The robbery has been solved, however, the police say they will still question Mr. Kalra and his associate Mr. Ahuja on the ‘hawala’ money.

According to the police, the robbery was carried out by twelve people including the juvenile. They have detained the juvenile and apprehended three of his associates identified as Gulzar alias Bhola, Tilak alias Tinku and Praveen, all residents of Chhatarpur. Efforts are on to nab their other five to six associates who too have been identified by the police.

Police said the juvenile was present inside the car on Tuesday when it was looted by the assailants with the cash and was relaying live updates to the robbers about the movement of the car through text messages.

“We always suspected the role of an insider in this robbery and so all those present in the car at the time of the robbery were under scanner. We questioned all of them in detail and checked their backgrounds. As soon as the juvenile broke down, the case was cracked,” said a senior police official.

According to police sources, the juvenile was aware that a large amount of cash was being transported by his boss, Mr. Kalra, and his partner Rajesh Ahuja between Chandni Chowk, Greater Kailash and Kalkaji. He then shared this information with his relative Ajay who has been involved in street crime in the area and planned to loot the cash, said the police officer.

Ajay further roped in Shakti Naidu, who is juvenile’s maternal uncle, and has been involved in a number of crimes. He was also arrested in a bank robbery case in 2002.

Naidu further roped in members of Pradeep Kalara gang and started to plan the heist. The gang first robbed a Hyundai Verna on January 21 and then a Wagon R on January 24 for the purpose, he added.

According to the information provided by the juvenile, the gang followed Mr. Kalra’s car on January 24 to study his routes. They followed the route taken by the car and then planned the entire heist in detail including interception point and escape routes.

On January 27, the juvenile tipped-off his associates that a huge amount of money will be transported the next day.

On the day of the robbery the entire gang followed the car which had the cash, in three cars, a Wagon R, a Verna and a Volkswagen Jetta which apparently belonged to Naidu.

The Wagon R intercepted the Honda City near Lajpat Nagar metro station while the Verna came from behind. The armed robbers came out of the car and asked Rakesh Kumar, manager of Mr. Kalra, driver Subodh, Baijnath and the juvenile to alight from the Honda City on gunpoint.

They then fled from the spot in the Honda City which had the cash and the Hyundai Verna, leaving behind the Wagon R on the spot, while Shakti followed them in the Jetta.

They took the Honda City near Sewa Nagar railway crossing close to Barapullah Flyover, transferred the cash in the Jetta car and fled from the spot leaving behind the Honda City. The other group abandoned the Verna around a kilometre away from the crime scene in Jangpura.

All of them assembled at a place in Mahipalpur in South Delhi, distributed the money among them and then fled in different directions in buses and taxis.

Once the juvenile revealed the entire plot to the police on Thursday, he was apprehended by South East Delhi Police. On his instance, several police teams launched a manhunt to nab the robbers.

Gulzar alias Bhola, Tilak alias Tinku and Praveen had fled to Shimla in a taxi. They were arrested on Friday by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in Chandigarh when they were returning from Shimla with the help of Chandigarh Police.

The police have recovered part of the looted amount from several places at their instance. The exact amount is yet to be ascertained.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 9:07:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/juvenile-behind-lajpat-nagar-heist/article5645121.ece

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