Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 21:34 IST

UP's Mega Car Heist: Gang of 4 Steals Over 500 Vehicles, Learns Techniques from YouTube Tutorials

Employing hi-tech, open source, software acquired from the internet, the gang learned to unlock cars and remove GPS trackers.

Reported by: Digital Desk
The gang's modus operandi evolved as security in cars increased, in a way they went along with Moore's Law. | Image:UP Police
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Delhi-NCR: A gang of car thieves, whose members learned their 'craft’ from YouTube despite having minimal education, has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police. Led by Taj Mohammad and Raunak Ali, the gang's activities extended across Delhi and the National Capital Region. The gang's learned craft from online tutorials resulted in the theft of over 500 cars, which also included quite a few luxury vehicles.

In their initial days, Taj and Raunak joined forces with Rinku and Hakim, starting on a spree of car thefts that frequently landed them in jail, media reports said. 

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Illiterate Gang Goes Hi-Tech to Steal Cars: Software, Magnets & More

During one such arrest, Taj formed a new gang with Guddu, Kashif, and Matin within the jail. Employing hi-tech, open source, software acquired from the internet, the gang learned to unlock cars and remove GPS trackers.

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Their operation expanded beyond theft alone, with the gang supplying stolen vehicles to accomplices identified as Aamir in Sambhal and another individual in Vadodara, Gujarat. Aamir and his wife were found to be actively involved, providing tools and remote-controlled car keys to enable the thefts. They also helped the newly formed gang access software to unlock anti-theft systems in luxury cars  as per police reports.

How Gang’s Modus Operandi Followed Moore’s Law

The gang's modus operandi evolved as security in cars increased, in a way they went along with Moore's Law. With every year, as the Integrated circuits in the cars increased, so did their capability that enabled them to steal the cars in the first place. Media reports add that the group utilised magnets to break steering wheel locks, changed vehicle number plates, and employed software downloaded onto tablets to create duplicate keys. To evade detection, they used flight mode on their phones and communicated via WhatsApp to avoid suspicion.

Media reports citing Guddu, a former e-rickshaw driver, said that the motive behind their criminal activities was a desire for a better lifestyle. Despite lacking formal education and facing financial hardships, they sought to improve their circumstances through illicit means. This pursuit of luxury led them to focus on stealing high-end cars.

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Gang's Interstate Nexus Extends to Dubai

The police investigation uncovered an interstate nexus with connections to Dubai, where Aamir operated. Police reports added that trips to Dubai were made by the felons to obtain duplicate keys for luxury cars, which were then used in India for thefts. Upon arrest, the police seized several stolen vehicles, including Maruti Vitara Brezza, Boleno, Honda Jazz, and Hyundai Santro, along with various tools used in their criminal activities.

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In addition to car theft, the gang was implicated in an ATM robbery in Delhi's Rohini area, where they absconded with Rs 19.9 lakh after breaking into the machine. The police had filed a case against Taj, his wife, Kashif, and Guddu, who were subsequently pursued as fugitives.

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Published February 23rd, 2024 at 20:38 IST