An autorickshaw driver has been arrested for allegedly robbing elderly people after they would step out of banks.
According to police, auto driver Susobhan Dasgupta has robbed at least 10 persons since October 2021 of around Rs 2.4 lakh.
Dasgupta, a resident of Baranagar in northeast Kolkata, used to target elderly people who entered banks alone and would wait for them to come out, the police said.
“Once an elderly person would step out of the bank, Dasgupta would offer to drop him or her home in his auto for free as a gesture of goodwill because of their age. He would then ask the person to hand him the bags, offering to place them in the auto for him or her. The moment the bags would be handed over, Dasgupta would speed away with his auto leaving behind the elderly person on the road,” said an officer of Belghoria police station.
The police had started a probe after receiving a complaint from Amiya Singha, a resident of BN Ghoshal Road in Belghoria. He had alleged that his elderly father was robbed of cash he had withdrawn from the Belghoria branch of a bank on May 31, 2022.
“CCTV footage was analysed to identify the auto that was used in the crime. The identity of the driver was established after the auto was identified,” said an officer.
Dasgupta, who was arrested earlier last week, has purportedly told the police that he had been robbing people since Mahalaya last year.
“According to Dasgupta, he had committed his first crime on Talpukur Road in Titagarh, under the Barrackpore police commissionerate, where he had robbed an old man of Rs 33,000. Thereafter he committed similar crimes on Raja Road in Khardah, Nilgunj Road in Titagarh, Dakshineswar Adyapith Road and Rahara Bazar Road in Khardah,” said the officer.
“We are checking with the police stations. If similar complaints have already been registered, Dasgupta’s name will be tagged to all these cases,” said a senior officer of the commissionerate.
This is not the first time that elderly people in the city, who are most vulnerable to online frauds and crime against life and property, have been targeted by criminals.
An officer not attached to the case said it was always advisable for the elderly to be accompanied by someone whenever they visit a bank or an ATM to withdraw cash.