They play with your mind. They come near your vehicle, peep inside to see if there is something valuable. Apply various tactics and divert your attention mostly near red lights and before you realise that you have been conned they are gone with your laptop, mobile or valuables kept in the rear seat.
The Thak Thak gang is on the prowl in Delhi and their innovative techniques are becoming a challenge both for motorists on the roads and the police as well.
“They follow the targeted vehicle on a two-wheeler and maintain some distance, then they puncture the tyre of the targeted vehicle at any red light or during traffic congestion. Then follow the vehicle till the driver stops to replace the punctured tyre and they make the move to lift any bag, mobile, laptop and other items from inside the vehicle, when the driver is busy in changing the tyre and the locks of the vehicle are open. In case someone is sitting inside the vehicle, they use the other side door to commit the crime and run away from there on a two-wheeler,” said Atul Thakur, DCP, South Delhi.
So, is tyre puncture the only technique the gang applies? The answer is ‘No’. Over time the gang has evolved various new methods and techniques to trick people.
In some instances they spill some oil while driving and indicate towards the engine while driving. The driver gets confused and parks the vehicle nearby to check his engine. The moment he stops and comes out of the car, the other gang members flee with the bag from behind.
In yet another technique, one of the gang members drops some currency notes near the driver’s seat on the road and later asks the victim if his money has fallen. Unaware of the plot, the driver unlocks the car to pick up the notes. It is when the other member of the gang walks from behind and opens the rear door and steals the valuables kept behind.
“This is done after choosing the car and the potential target. Sometimes it’s a random pick but sometimes they target the cars of the customers in a jewellery market or banks to maximise the chances of a hefty theft,” said a senior police officer.
The Thak Thak gang near red lights also diverts attention and claims that the driver has run over their friend’s foot or that the victim’s car is damaged because of the rash driving. The moment the door is unlocked, the other member flees with the bag kept at the rear seat.
So what precautions could be taken to fall prey to these tactics of the Thak Thak gang?
Never open your door no matter whatever they claim has happened. If you are carrying any valuables or cash, keep it concealed in the boot or tucked under the seats. If possible keep the valuables with you and never panic when you see a person thumping on the vehicle door or window pane or trying to make you stop by telling you the tyre is punctured.