2 gang members involved in stealing self-driving cars arrested in Chandigarh

The Police Operation Cell has arrested a gang of fraudsters accused of stealing self-driving cars, operating across state borders and Chandigarh two-wheelers.

The accused, Mangi Lal, 24, and Madan Chaudhary, 23, both from Jodhpur, Rajasthan, are both part of the gang, whose members allegedly used fake IDs to rent self-driving cars to Chandigarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh which they would later fly.

Police said the two accused worked as drivers and were arrested by the squad at a naka near Lake Dhanas. They were in possession of a stolen two-wheeler at the time of their arrest.

A case had previously been registered at the Sector 17 police station in October 2021. The police also recovered another stolen motorcycle, a case of which had been registered at the Sector 39 police station in January 2021.

During questioning, one of the defendants said he rented cars from ZoomCar, a car rental company, later revealing the location of the 3 stolen Creta cars.

Police said the accused traveled across states and rented cars providing fake IDs, then fled after throwing away the SIM card and cellphones used to make reservations. To avoid being tracked, the accused removed the GPS and changed the color of the stolen vehicles.

Chandigarh Police had registered a case at IT Park Police Station on February 18 under Sections 406 (), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal association) of the Indian Penal Code on a complaint from the Commercial Director of ZoomCar, Parvesh Kumar Sharma.

The complainant said that a person identifying as Deepak Chandra Sharma from Mathura booked a Hyundai Creta for one day in July 2021. He received payment from 7,470 and collected the vehicle from IT Park Road near Chandigarh Railway Station on July 10, but did not return the vehicle and removed its GPS system.

Police said the other two cars recovered were stolen from Indore, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively.

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