Police on Friday said they had arrested three women pickpockets who allegedly stole Rs 40,000 from a 1971 war veteran inside an ATM booth in Hauz Khas area a week ago.
The 76-year-old retired Captain, NK Mahajan, was withdrawing money from the ATM when two women engaged him in a brief conversation and stole money from his pocket.
The entire incident was captured on a CCTV camera installed in the ATM kiosk. Seeking help, the war veteran, who lives in Hauz Khas, tweeted about the incident on October 3 and uploaded video footage wherein the faces of the suspects were
Police said Mahajan had said he asked the two women to wait outside but they didn't listen and entered the ATM. The women are members of an organised gang that travel to Delhi from Madhya Pradesh, primarily during festival and wedding seasons to commit pickpocketing.
They target mostly elderly people visiting banks, ATMs, crowded markets and other public places during rush hours. They steal money and jewellery from their handbags or pockets, police said.
Of the three arrested women, one is a 35-year-old, who was declared a proclaimed offender (PO) in a five-year-old theft case that was registered against her at the Kotwali police station. She was previously found involved in two more pickpocketing cases registered at the Karol Bagh and Tilak Nagar police stations in Delhi.
Another woman, aged 30 years, were involved in two previous case - one at GTB Enclave and another at Punjabi Bagh. Police have not disclosed the names of the arrested women.
Deputy commissioner of police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur said that on October 3, the defence officer lodged a complaint at the Hauz Khas police station regarding the theft. "A case was registered," Thakur said.
During the probe, the DCP said, the footage of CCTV cameras installed at the booth were scanned and it was seen that two women were standing near the elderly man while he was withdrawing money. The picture of the suspects were obtained and matched with women arrested in the past or wanted for similar offences.
Investigators came across a jewellery theft case reported in Kolta Mubarakpur in December 2017. The face of one of the suspects seen in the footage matched with the woman involved in that case.
On October 11, the narcotics squad of south district police learnt that three women would come near a public park in Pushp Vihar to commit another crime. A trap was laid and the three were caught. Their interrogation led to the recovery of Rs 40,000 which they had stolen from the elderly man, the officer said.