Delhi: Five-star hotel staff arrested for 15 snatching crimes in Saket

The 35-year-old accused started gambling through online apps two years ago and lost money leading to a huge debt. To pay off his debts, he turned to snatch thefts and operated alone.

A 35-year-old chef of a leading five-star hotel has been arrested by the south district police for allegedly committing around 15 snatching crimes in several areas of South Delhi. The police also arrested a jeweller, who was purchasing snatched chains from him.

Deputy commissioner of police (south district) Atul Kumar Thakur said the accused have been identified as Harish Chauhan, the chef, and Rajender Aggarwal (60), the jeweller. “After completing his graduation from south campus, Delhi University in 2006, Harish did a three-year degree course of hotel management from Pusa and started working as a chef at the Oberoi at IGI Airport. But two years ago, he started gambling through online apps and lost money leading to a huge debt,” he said.

“To pay his debts, he decided to snatch valuables from soft targets in the morning and evening near Saket metro station and Ambedkar Nagar bus stand on MB Road. He is sharp-minded with a slim build and runs like a trained athlete. These qualities made him a notorious and desperate snatcher, like a wolf, and he operated alone,” Thakur said.

Thakur said several incidents of snatching by a ‘lone wolf’ snatcher were reported, targeting mainly women who are on morning walks on returning from office in the evening. “We formed a team led by inspector Atul Tyagi and sub-inspector Sanjay Singh. Our team scanned 200 CCTV footages of the last two months and got some crucial leads. We also got input on Harish that he was carrying a pistol with him. We laid a trap in MB road and arrested him when he came. He tried to whip out his pistol, but we overpowered him,” he said.

During questioning, he disclosed that he sold out three snatched gold chains to Aggarwal, who runs his jewellery shop in Neb Sarai area. “We have solved 15 cases so far after arresting him and further investigations are on,” Thakur said.

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