Ghaziabad: Using social media, CCTV footage and surveillance, police arrested two men accused of entering the house of a retired LIC employee in Sector 15, Vasundharalooking for a room to rent and later driving it.
According to the police, Prateek Shrivastav and Kabir Dubey, originally from Gorakhpur and now residing in Sector 13, Vasundhara, had visited the house twice before committing the crime.
Police say Prateek inadvertently revealed his first name to the owner of the house during a call.
During investigations, when the cops used surveillance to extract active numbers near the house, they came across a certain Prateek Shrivastav.
They then used Facebook to search for him. The shoes on Prateek Shrivastav’s Facebook profile matched shoes one of the defendants was wearing in CCTV clips from the area, cops said. This confirmed Prateek’s involvement, and cops then monitored the contacts on his phone and searched for them on Facebook. Kabir’s face was visible in one of the CCTV clips, and police linked it to his photo on Facebook.
Police say Prateek planned the crime because he needed money for his girlfriend’s treatment.
On June 27, he and Kabir entered the house of Lalit Joshi (58), who was home alone at the time.
In his complaint, Joshi said they saw the room he tried to rent and agreed to pay 9,000 rupees per month for it.
“Then they asked for a glass of water. When I came back with the water, they had knives in their hands. They pushed me, covered my mouth with tape, and tied my hands and legs. Later they went to the other rooms, searched for valuables and came out with money worth Rs 70,000 and other items from the closet,” he said.
“The two fled shortly thereafter. It took me over three hours to untie my hands and legs,” he added.
Circle Officer, Indirapuram, Abhay Mishra told TOI that the duo had probably seen a notice from Joshi that a room was available for rent. “Prateek visited Joshi’s house on June 19 and asked about the room. On June 24, Prateek and Kabir again visited the house. On the day of the crime they were together too,” Mishra said.
Based on the complaint, the police booked the accused under IPC sections 392 (punishment for robbery) and 457 (trespassing).
“We formed two police teams to catch the accused. Through monitoring, we have extracted active numbers in the vicinity. The owner of the house had mentioned Prateek’s name. So we matched the numbers with the name and got Prateek Shrivastav and checked his Facebook profile,” Mishra said, adding that his shoes on Facebook matched those in the CCTV clips.
“Our team saw 100 to 150 CCTV camera clips. Prateek took care to hide his face. But in one of the clips, the cops saw the face of Prateek’s accomplice. When we analyzed Prateek’s contacts, we found Kabir’s number. Then we checked Kabir’s Facebook profile and compared it with the clips,” the commander said.
On Friday evening, the two accused were arrested from the green belt of the elevated road by the Indirapuram Police Station team.
“During the interrogation, we discovered that Prateek worked as a driver in a private company and that he had recently lost his job. He needed money for his girlfriend’s medical treatment. She is also Kabir’s sister,” the commander said.
The police recovered a gold necklace, a “mangalsutra”, earrings, chains and a silver chain, children’s bracelets, anklets, coins, glasses, rings. duo toe and silver.