A gang of six, which includes a Class XI student, was arrested for its alleged involvement in at least two dozen snatching cases over the past four months.
Police claimed the gang had confessed to have carried out at least 25 snatchings in and around the added areas of the city.
The six have been identified as Manoj Ghosh, 19, Ranjan Das, 19, Ripon Maity, 19, Surojit Dutta, 19, Rony Halder, 19, and Rajib Biswas, 26. Ripon studies in Class XI at a Garfa school.
“The accused mostly operated in Garfa, Tiljala, Patuli, Jadavpur and Haridevpur. They targeted mainly elderly walkers in the morning or evening,” said Murlidhar Sharma, the deputy commissioner (special) in the detective department.
Police sources said the gang worked in groups of two or three. They would snatch chains from women while riding motorcycles and speed away.
“Manoj is the mastermind. He has served a jail term for four months for his involvement in a few snatching cases,” said an officer of the detective department. “We had information that soon after getting out of jail, Manoj had recruited a few youths and set up a gang.”
Manoj and Ranjan, residents of South Purbachal in East Jadavpur, were arrested on Thursday night. “They confessed to their crime and spoke about the involvement of the other four.”
Ripon and Rony were next to be picked up, from their homes in Garfa.
Surojit, a resident of Hospital Road in the Survey Park area, and Rajib of Nonadanga, were rounded up on Friday morning.
“None of the youths, except Ripon, goes to school. Rajib runs a small tea stall in the Lake area,” said an officer.
The police have seized Ripon’s motorcycle that was often used by the gang to snatch chains from walkers. The bikes of Manoj and Ranjan, too, were used in such operations.
Sources in the detective department said at least 50 cases of snatching of chains had been reported from the added areas in the past four months.
“We suspect the gang was behind almost half the snatchings. We have come to know the names of a few persons who had bought snatched chains from the gang,” said a senior officer.
The arrests came a day after an unidentified youth had snatched a gold chain from a 48-year-old homemaker, Padma Jain, near her Phoolbagan residence on Thursday.