The Delhi Police on Tuesday claimed to have arrested the kingpin of the Namaste gang which used to greet people with folded hands before robbing them.
Chand Mohammad (35), a resident of Faridabad in Haryana, targeted senior citizens by introducing himself as an acquaintance or friend of one of their relatives and taking away their jewellery, police said.
He had committed more than 100 such crimes in Delhi and its neigbhouring areas since 2017, they said.
The accused would greet his victims with folded hands and seek their blessings by touching their feet. He would then ask them to give him their jewellery on some pretext and flee from there, the police said.
Along with the accused, police also arrested one Dinesh Kumar Soni (47), a resident of Faridabad, who allegedly bought the stolen items from Mohammad.
According to police, the matter came to notice after a complaint was received from a 70-year-old woman on October 17.
In her complaint, the woman said that Mohammad made ''Namaste'' gesture and touched her feet before introducing himself as a jeweller known to one of her relatives. He then asked her to give him the gold ear rings that she was wearing and after taking the jewellery, he fled from there, police said.
On her complaint, a case was registered under section of cheating at the Maidan Garhi Police Station, said Atul Kumar Thakur, senior police official (south).
On the same day, a similar incident had taken place in Neb Sarai area where the accused cheated another senior citizen using the same modus operandi, he said.
"The accused had committed similar crimes in the area of Maidan Garhi, Neb Sarai, Sangam Vihar, Govindpuri, Ambedkar Nagar, Malviya Nagar and other areas of south district earlier. To arrest the accused, our team collected CCTV footage of the incident and identified him and the vehicle used in committing the crime," Mr Thakur said.
The accused had also targeted several people in the west district of Delhi from 2017 to 2020.
CCTV footage of multiple incidents at Hari Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Rajauri Garden, Kirti Nagar, Patel Nagar, Punjabi Bagh and Kapashera areas in west Delhi were analysed, he said.
During investigation, the scooter used by the accused was traced to a vacant spot near a park where it was parked. The team laid a trap there and after waiting for four days, Mohammad was caught.
The accused told police that he had stolen jewellery worth around Rs 60 lakh but lost most of it in gambling.