Two men, who allegedly broke into at least 40 houses in Noida over the last six months and looted jewellery, cash and electronics, have been arrested, the police said on Friday.
The accused -- identified as Kapil Jatav, 31, and Mohammed Sajid, 30 -- both natives of Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh -- were held from a spot near the Sector 51 metro station on Thursday, they added.
"During investigation, they said they belonged to a four-member gang, which regularly targeted flats and houses in Noida city over the last six months," Circle Officer, Noida 2nd, Piyush Kumar Singh said.
"They have confessed to breaking into at least 40 houses during the period. All these incidents took place during the day. Two of them, Kapil and Sajid, would get into a house in search of cash, jewellery and electronics, while the other two, Bilal and Saleem, would wait in a car and keep a tab on people's movement to raise an alarm," he added.
Mr Singh said the gang worked with precision and would take about 20-25 minutes to finish their job -- from breaking the lock to scanning valuables inside the house and exiting it.
"They would only look for jewellery, cash or objects that were small in size, like camera or watches, so that those could be easily carried in bags," he said.
The two arrested accused told the police that they started targeting houses since February and would come every time from Meerut in a Hyundai Santro car via Ghaziabad.
"They first came in February. Then four to five times in March and by April, they had started coming every alternate day. They broke into houses and flats in sectors 50, 53, 34, 110, 75, 51, 76, 61, 41, 35 and 82, among others. By August, they had started targeting more than one house a day," Mr Singh said.
The gang would sell the stolen articles in Meerut, while the jewellery was sold to a jeweller for cash, he added.
One of the accused had used the stolen money to buy jewellery for a cousin's wedding, while another had purchased a Royal Enfield motorcycle with it, Mr Singh said. "They also bought expensive clothes with the stolen money, because every time they would go to residential societies in 'good-looking clothes', nobody would doubt their motive," he added.
A case was registered against the duo at the Sector 49 police station, while searches were underway to nab the other gang members, Mr Singh said.