Friday, 7 November 2014

Gang of 13 women pulls off Rs 5L heist

Lucknow: CCTV cameras installed at a printing press in Ghaziabad have captured the first known all-women 13-member gang of burglars at work. The footage reveals the entire sequence of events, from the women scaling a 12-feet boundary wall and smashing open locks to decamping with booty worth over Rs 5 lakh.

The incident occurred at plot number E-217 in Kavinagar Industrial area of Ghaziabad about a fortnight ago when the owner of the property Vineet Tiyagi found the main entrance and shed on the property lying wide open. A closer look showed that close to 500 photosensitive aluminum plates used for printing— worth an estimated Rs 5 lakh— were missing. Going through the footage of the various CCTV cameras installed on the property, Vineet was shocked to find that the burglary was committed by an all-women gang of burglars in their early 20s.

Police officers say instances of women thieves sneaking into a jewelry store or shops during rush hours, indulging in pick-pocketing and theft aren't new. But 13 women together committing a daring, swift robbery in a matter of 14 minutes is surely a first, they say. On going through the footage, senior police officers said the gang was much more precise, systematic and quick than male counterparts. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Meerut Range Ramit Sharma it is unlikely that this was the gang's first heist. "They were pretty professional in their execution," he said, talking to TOI on phone from Meerut on Thursday.

All members of the gang had covered their face with their dupattas. Most of them had small torches to look for the loot in the dark. They entered the premises of the printing press at 5:16 am, broke open two big locks to enter the machine room, rummage through the tools, equipment, machinery and stocks before one of them found the aluminum plates.

They then grabbed several plates and stuffed them in big plastic sacks that they were carrying with them. It took the gang exactly 14 minutes before they noticed the CCTV camera installed in the machine room and snapped its connection. However, the CCTV camera at the main gate caught them walking out of the premises minutes thereafter.