The five robbers arrested by the Noida police a day before had allegedly looted several people they met through a dating application for gay people, officials said on Tuesday.
The accused would chat with gullible targets on the app and set up a meeting and then rob them of their valuables, including jewellery or cash, the officials said. The five were also allegedly involved in several cases of loot and robberies, a senior officer said.
The five accused, all natives of neighbouring Bulandshahr district, were travelling in a stolen car when they were held by the officers from the Phase 3 police station after an encounter in which two of them had suffered bullet injuries, according to police. Those held were identified as Kapil Sharma, Rahul Saini, Ajay Sharma, Rajkumar, alias Raj Sharma, and Manish.
While an FIR was registered against them in which a man claimed he was forced by the accused to withdraw money from an ATM after the gang lured him to a personal meeting over the app.
"The gang has been involved both in direct robberies as well as those done via the app, wherein they targeted gay people looking for a match. There could be over a dozen such people who have been robbed or duped by them but many have not come out to file complaints," DCP (Central) Noida Harish Chander said.
"After getting into chat with people on the app, the accused either sought a meeting at their place of choice or the target's place or even some third place. Once meeting personally, they would rob the target and flee," Chander said.
After their arrest on Monday, the gang led to the recovery of stolen jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh and two stolen cars, Rs 1.14 lakh in cash, 24 wrist watches, among others, police said.