Bengaluru’s visiting thugs

Many gangs fly in with highly specialised skills to pull off heists in the city. Here’s a lowdown on their style

Specialised gangs regularly visit the city, and their planning and intelligence leave the police flummoxed.

In a recent case, three men on a bike pulled off a breathtaking stunt, trailing a huge truck carrying gadgets, and breaking open its lock while it is in motion.

Alok Kumar, additional commissioner of police (Crime), says the gangs mostly operate on the outskirts of the city. “This is because they want to be in the vicinity of a highway. It difficult for the police to cover loop roads,” he explains.

Visiting gangs are aware of interstate jurisdiction problems faced by the police and exploit them.

Many factors bind members of a gang, language being one. “There was a gang from Latin America that first started their operations in Bengaluru in 2010. I knew those from African countries and the Middle East were involved in such operations but I least expected a gang from Latin America,” he says. 

Alok Kumar says the latest scams relate to stealing with the help of fake SIM cards. “Gangs come in from another state and operate in Bengaluru only for two or three days,” he adds.

City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar says, “Gang operations are coordinated. Members have prior information about what a vehicle is carrying. They operate in sparsely populated areas.” Suneel Kumar says gangs are tech-savvy and well-equipped. “They buy online whatever gadgets they require for a particular operation,” he observes.

Group trip

Gangs always travel at night and never during the day. They network and escape easily in the dark, and can offer resistance if one of their members gets caught.

Chor bizarre 

The gangs have signature styles. One eats from the fridge of the house it has broken into, while another defecates at the site of the crime. A third gang turns up the volume of television to drown out its giveaway sounds.

Who are their targets? 

Single women and the elderly.

Upmarket neighbourhoods.

Suburban areas near highways.


Caption

Precautions

Don’t keep jewellery at home when you travel out.

Get somebody to stay in when you are away.

Inform paper and milk vendors when you are going out of town.

Don’t open the door to strangers.

Gangs coming to Bengaluru

Tirupati and Nellore gang 

They throw currency notes on the road and target those coming out of banks. They snatch their bags and flee.

Harinsikari gang

Steals goods from moving vehicles. Highly skilled, and can perform pro-level stunts. Mostly active in Gujarat and Maharashtra, but visits Bengaluru too.

Bawariya gang

Hailing from Delhi, this gang flies into Bengaluru to steal suitcases packed with money. Members usually prey around banks and airports.

Irani gang

Mostly based in Bidar, Hindupur, Pune and Solapur and specialise in snatching gold chains. They come to Bengaluru usually just for a day.

Ramjinagar gang

This gang of muggers specialises in attention diversion tactics. They throw powdered biscuit on the shirt. When the victim is dusting it off, the gang scoots with his bag or suitcase. 

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