Delhi: Facial recognition tech helps cops nab 2 women pickpocketers

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On March 3, Rajouri Garden police station received a complaint from a woman, alleging that two women had stolen Rs 5 lakh from her bag. (Representational Image)

Delhi Police busted an inter-state pickpocket gang with the arrest of three people, including two women, who would allegedly commit thefts near banks and malls in Delhi and Gurgaon. The third accused, an auto driver, ferried them to the locations, said police.

Police said the women, Nargis (25) and Anjali (23), hail from Madhya Pradesh’s Rajgarh and had come to Delhi six months ago. They mostly targeted women outside banks and stole money from their bags. “The women gave the stolen items to Anjali’s mother Geeta, who then went back to MP to sell it. We have sent teams to arrest her,” said a police officer.

On March 3, Rajouri Garden police station received a complaint from a woman, alleging that two women had stolen Rs 5 lakh from her bag. Police found that after the complainant withdrew money from Canara Bank, she was followed by two women to a shop. Upon viewing the CCTV footage from the shop, police saw that one of the accused distracted the complainant by talking to her, while the other woman took the money from her bag.

DCP (West) Deepak Purohit said, “The women were identified after the footage was run through facial recognition software. One of them, Anjali, was identified as she has a criminal record; we matched her details from the criminal dossier system.” Police went through footage from CCTVs near the spot. Using Google Maps, officers then traced the path taken by the accused to the bank and the route they took while fleeing.

“We found the women had fled in an auto-rickshaw. The auto was traced and the driver, Pramod Podar, was arrested,” said Purohit. Police found that Podar knew the women and would ferry them from their home to malls and banks. After they committed the crime, he would drop them to Gurgaon, and charged them Rs 2,000 per day, said police. Teams were then sent to Gurgaon and Manesar, and the women were found.