A Delhi football club coach has been arrested for allegedly stealing mobile phones of club members from the dressing room of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium after he was ousted from the team, police said today.
Former football coach Shekhar Pathak, who is a resident of Delhi's Pandav Nagar, was enraged by his removal from the team and stole the phones of the members of Delhi United Football Club to avenge his sacking, they said.
On March 13, police received information that 12 mobile phones and wallets, with around Rs 10,000, belonging to a football team has been stolen, a senior police officer said.
Further investigation revealed the football team and all players had kept their belongings in the lockers of a dressing room which was allotted to them, police said.
However, when they came back after their match, they found the lockers have been ransacked and their mobile phones and wallets were missing, the officer said.
"The police checked the footage of all CCTV cameras in the stadium and put the stolen phones on surveillance. The security as well as management staff of the stadium were thoroughly interrogated and asked if they had spotted any suspicious person coming in or out from the dressing room," Deputy Commissioner of Police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said.
After a couple of months, one of the stolen phones was switched on. The police caught the person who had the phone and interrogated him.
The man told the police that Shekhar Pathak had sold him the phone but he had returned it to him as the former coach had failed to produce the original receipt of the phone, police said.
Later, the accused was arrested from his house and nine mobile phones were recovered from his possession, the Mr Thakur said.
Shekhar Pathak was a district level football player and had played for almost six years from 2004 to 2010 from the Lions Club Football Team.
He started his career as a football coach in March 2011 and was hired by players at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. He coached the team from 2011 to 2013, police said.
In 2013, one of the other coaches filed a complaint about Shekhar Pathak not being punctual and sincere towards his duty which led to his removal, the DCP said.
The ousted coach then started his own academy, Shubham Football Academy, in Delhi's Preet Vihar, but had to shut it down after the academy failed to take off, police said.
Since Pathak was familiar with the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium and its dressing rooms, he committed the crime to avenge his removal, the police said.