From our Staff Correspondent
SHILLONG, July 9: The East Khasi Hills district police special cell arrested a five-member gang of inter-State car lifters in the past three days. The police’s success in busting the modus-operandi of the gang came at a time when the police were trying to find out clues on the sudden rise in car lifting cases in Shillong where four Boleros were lifted from different locations in the past one month.
The gang was busted on Thursday night after the gang members travelling on a Bolero sped away on seeing a police picketing team during a routine check carried out in Laban. The occupants of the Bolero produced the documents of the vehicle which was metallic green in colour. However, when the chassis and engine numbers were checked, the Bolero registered as AS-01 AB-6977 turned out to be a stolen vehicle from Laban.
Immediately, the occupants namely Sanathamba Singh of Lakhipur and Hiren Das of Rangapara, Silchar, Assam were taken in custody for further interrogation.
In course of the interrogation, the two confessed the crime and the involvement of other members including a local facilitator identified as Rahim Rupini and two other gang members namely Jiten Das alias Naba Das of Khanapara and Raju Das of Bongagigon, Assam were arrested from Harisava, Laban on Sunday morning. The five arrested persons have been remanded to police custody.
Three of the gang members have fled to Shillong but the district police have managed to deter further car lifting in the city. According to the District Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Crime, Vivek Syiem, this gang divided themselves into a group of two each, used the local network to scout Boleros parked in vulnerable areas.
“On lifting, they complete the process of camouflage before heading towards Jirabam (Manipur),” stated Syiem. He also mentioned that the breakthrough was made when the very car lifters were on the way to the said destination. A couple of these car lifters were arrested earlier by Assam Police, informed the ASP.
Meanwhile, the police have also issued a word of caution on the vehicle owners, urging that they should check the steering lock and other locking devices to avoid lifting by criminals.