During a routine check near the city’s upscale Galleria Market (in DLF 4) on Saturday, Gurugram police arrested two men they suspected of being vehicle thieves — and stumbled into a rabbit hole that led them to a gang of motorcycle thieves. It was large enough and specialised enough to focus on various customer groups, joyriders,those who wanted to use the bike for a crime, people in the spare parts business, or those simply looking to buy a second-hand bike.
The gang, or club as the members themselves referred to it, even has a name: Bikers Gang — Hum Sikander (which roughly translates as We The Conquerors). And its members, the police claimed, are behind around 500 motorcycle thefts in the National Capital Region over the past six years.
The police added that based on the information provided by the two people they arrested, one 18 years old and the other 22, they have identified 30 more, and are conducting raids to arrest them as well as garage owners who helped them fence the bikes. They said that around 60 members of the club are juveniles.
The club was born in prison, said city police commissioner KK Rao. Some of its members met in jails and became friends. The club itself was formed in October 2014 by a Nuh resident who is still serving time in Bhondsi jail — for vehicle theft. “All of them are not habitual offenders. Many educated men in need of money have also been part of this gang. They end up stealing to lead a lavish life. The crime teams are monitoring the movement of habitual offenders, garages, and shops dealing in second-hand spare parts.” Like other associations, the club met once a month, according to Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (crime). Requirements (of motorcycles) were posted on a WhatsApp group, as was the availability of bikes. The administrator of the group and its name keep changing, he explained. In February, for instance, a new group was formed after six members of the gang were arrested from Gurugram and Nuh.
The two arrested men revealed that they travelled more than 700 kilometres to Jammu and Kashmir to sell stolen motorbikes recently, after the lockdown was lifted, and have sold a bike for as low as ₹2,000, the police said. On March 25, India imposed a lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease. The lockdown, which placed severe restrictions on movements, especially across state boundaries, eventually lasted 68 days.
The two also said that due to increased checking in the district after the lockdown, the gang’s members were repainting stolen bikes and changing number plates immediately — and selling them as soon as they could in other states, even if it meant taking a lower price.
The police said that the gang found itself jobless during the lockdown. “Most of the people working in companies were away during the lockdown. These gang members were anxiously waiting for victims to park their bikes in Sector 29 and in DLF Phase 4 again,” said Sangwan. The end of the lockdown saw their business revive. Sometimes, Sangwan said, the thieves would speed away with a bike minutes after it had been parked.
Police said the gang was trained by mechanics in UP and Nuh and could unlock a bike in minutes — without keys. They added that members carried a small kit with tools to open any kind of bike lock. Sangwan said that sometimes, the bikes are stolen for parts. Engines sell for ₹6,000, lights for ₹300 and brake assemblies for ₹300. The gang’s preferred hunting grounds were DLF Phase 4, Sector 29, MG Road, Sector 14 market, Palam Vihar, the district courts and Sector 5, he added.