The cops were given training to think how criminals functioned. “Over time, criminals change their modus operandi to dodge police, so even we changed our ways to catch them,” said a policeman who was a part of the team.
Head constable Chetan Yadav had disguised himself as a fruit vendor and labourer over the past 28 days to catch criminals. “My team members and I used to visit markets and stay connected through Bluetooth devices,” he said. They would first ask the vendors the rate of fruits and then sell the wares on their cart to customers at the same price. The original vendors would also be asked to cooperate in the operation and made to stand near the fruit carts like co-workers.
Another policeman said he disguised himself as a labourer after getting calls about snatching in an area. “I used to keep a sack on my shoulders and ask pedestrians and commuters about a delivery address to avoid suspicion about my identity. This would help me spend time in that area,” he added.
Constable Pradeep was deployed near a mall, bus stops and Delhi Metro stations to sell water in a trolley. “I had to keep an eye on suspects, apart from catering to regular customers,” he added. “We wore dhotis, turbans and even pyjamas during the operation. There were days when no suspects arrived, but we always remained on the lookout,” said another cop.
An officer said four cops were deployed at a spot, one to tell his colleagues about the movements of suspicious people and the other three to catch the suspects. “In several cases, we recovered stolen mobile phones from the suspects. First, they would tell us that the device belonged to them, but later could never open the lock pattern,” he added.
When they arrested robbers and snatchers, they were found high on drugs. “One of them told us that he was flying a plane and no one could catch him. Another said he didn’t know what he was doing. The investigation also revealed that they were procuring the drugs from children. The drugs procured from other states were packed in small pouches of 5-10 grams and given to poor children to sell them,” said another policeman.
DCP (Outer-North) Brijendra Kumar Yadav said, “After analysing the crime pattern of the area, this unique policing activity was started. Cops were deployed at sensitive places to get fruitful results.”