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Stinger gang members in net

Patna, Feb. 3: In the US, police use spike strips, or stingers, to chase highway robbers.

In Bihar, highway robbers use it for smooth midnight attacks on cars and trucks.

Late on Sunday night, police picked up three hardcore criminals, all part of a gang, involved in looting vehicles plying on the national and state highways.

Senior officers of Patna police said their modus operandi included putting triangle shaped sharp iron nails on the road in a bid to make a vehicle stop.

“They are mainly highway robbers by profession. On Sunday night, the police received information that one Pradip Kumar and his family, who were on their SUV going towards Bihar Sharif from Patna, were robbed in the Daniawa-Bihar Sharif highway of Rs 25,000 cash besides ornaments. The police formed a special team immediately to catch the men involved and were successful is nabbing three among them,” Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj said.

“This is a major catch considering the fact that they were into this unlawful business since long and used to move around different national and state highways committing loots and robberies. They mainly used to target trucks and private plying during night,” Maharaaj added.

The police added that with the sharp iron objects nailed in the middle of the road, vehicles were bound to stop or get their tyres deflated.

“In most cases, the vehicles stopped after their tyres get flattened tipping over these sharp objects. The men used to hide by the road and once the car or truck had stopped, they used to ambush it. All of them had arms and the people in the vehicles were robbed of their belongings. The men did not hesitate to shoot the victims if they resisted,” the officer said.

He added that four country-made pistols of .315 bore, 14 live cartridges and many triangular iron-made sharp objects have been recovered from their possession.

“The men were caught red-handed and looted cellphone sets and Rs 7,500 in cash were recovered from them. These men have their network spread far and wide and have given shape to criminal incidents in Rohtas, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand also. All these men hail from Aurangabad district and might have connection with the Maoists, too. These men are wanted in more than 10 serious criminal incidents in different police stations across the state. The gang is a big one and the men are being interrogated for more information at present,” Maharaaj added.

Catching criminals after laying traps of spike strips is quite common in the US, known for birth place of highway crime.