Patna, Nov. 30: A gang of six boys, aged between 10 and 14, was arrested today on the outskirts of the state capital. They had allegedly broken into the house of retired government employee Ram Naresh Singh a few days ago and decamped with Rs 21,000 and gold jewellery.
Sources said most of these boys live in the slums of Digha and do not attend school.
The young age of the criminals has become a cause of worry for the police and city-based psychiatrists.
An officer at Digha police station told The Telegraph: “Singh’s house is located at gate number 81 under Digha police station. He and his family had gone to Sitamarhi. There was no one in the house when the incident occurred. These boys, who are vagrants, kept a close watch on the house. On Monday afternoon, they prised open the door and got inside.”
When the family returned from their trip yesterday and discovered the theft, they lodged an FIR.
After sharing the spoils of the robbery, the boys went to a shop in the area and bought expensive China-made cellphones. The cops, who had been investigating the case, got a tip-off.
“These boys bought new cellphones with a part of the money they had looted. We were investigating the case and when we got to know about it, we caught the boys. They have confessed to the crime. Some money and jewellery have been recovered from them,” the officer added.
He also said: “Even for the police, this is very strange, considering that the boys are very young. Their parents are responsible for this.”
The officer also said that the boys would be sent to a remand home.
Youths and teenagers have also been involved in a number of criminal incidents in the state capital in recent times.
On September 20, three students of a reputed city school were arrested for stealing the motorbike of their senior. They tried to remodel the bike to prevent detection.
Before that, 14-year-old Monu, a resident of the Mandiri area under Buddha Colony police station, had allegedly masterminded a series of thefts in the city.
He had also left a note at one scene of crime challenging the police to arrest him. His identity was revealed to the police when they caught his associate, 22-year-old Ricky, while the duo were trying to rob the office of the electricity board at Kargil Chowk. Monu is yet to be arrested.
City-based psychiatrists said parents needed to be careful to prevent their children from treading down the path of crime.
“Parents are very busy these days. They have little time for children, who feel they are not well cared for. They get into bad company and end up committing a crime. Parents should take more responsibility for their children,” said Sujit Kumar, a psychiatrist.