‘Flight thief’ became skilled at observing behaviour, pattern of targets, say police : The Tribune India

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‘Flight thief’ became skilled at observing behaviour, pattern of targets, say police

‘Had taken 200 flights in one year’

‘Flight thief’ became skilled at observing behaviour, pattern of targets, say police


Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, May 14

The “notorious thief”, who was found to be involved in multiple thefts in aircrafts, had become skilled at observing his targets’ behaviour and pattern, said the police a day after arresting him.

The staff of the IGI Airport police station had apprehended Rajesh Kapoor (40), along with a receiver of stolen jewellery items, Sharad Jain (46), on Monday.

A police officer privy to the investigation said the accused targeted elderly women, who were travelling internationally and specifically on flights bound to Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Amritsar.

“Rajesh used to work on his intuition and observe his targets’ behaviour. He used to observe which passengers were protective of their belongings. He would randomly pick his targets and after zeroing in on one, he would even get his seat exchanged from the airlines in a routine manner in order to sit near them,” the officer said.

The officer said since he was involved in thefts since 2005, when he used to target passengers in trains, he had become skilled at observing people’s patterns and behaviours. The police said he had travelled for more than 110 days, taking at least 200 flights, in the past one year. The arrests came following a series of thefts reported on domestic and international flights.

Rajesh Kapoor is a resident of Paharganj in Delhi and also owns a guest house – Ricky Deluxe – from where he was arrested. After he was nabbed, he confessed to his involvement in multiple theft cases to the police, who recovered a large quantity of stolen jewellery from his residence.

The officer said, “Exploiting the chaos during boarding, Kapoor would stealthily pilfer valuables from overhead cabins while passengers settled into their seats.”

It has further come to light that he used to book tickets under his deceased brother’s name, Rishi Kapoor, to shield his identity from airlines and the law enforcement agencies. A case was registered against him under Section 379 (theft) of the IPC.

Complainants, Sudharani Pathuri and Varinderjeet Singh had alleged theft of jewellery items worth Rs 7 lakh and Rs 20 lakh, respectively. The police had subsequently used technical surveillance and analysed CCTV footage from the IGI Airport in Delhi, Amritsar Airport and Hyderabad airports, wherein Kapoor was identified as the prime suspect.

The police said he travelled on flights to and from various airports across India, including Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Bombay and Amritsar.

Sharad Jain, a jeweller, residing in Karol Bagh, was the receiver of stolen items. The police recovered approximately 56 gm of melted gold-like metal and some small pieces of diamond-like items from his possession.

Further recovery included — four gold rings, two pair of gold earrings, three gold bracelets, two gold chains, a gold maang tika, six gold nuggets weighing almost 418 gm, three silver bracelets, six silver chains, a silver coin, 660 tiny diamond stones and some gem stones.

Both accused were produced before a court, which sent them to two-day police custody. The police are further investigating the possibility of more cases being connected to Rajesh.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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