Police said it has recovered over Rs 2.36 crore out of the money looted from a cash van of a cash replenishment agency in upscale Defence Colony on Friday afternoon, after a security guard who resisted the five robbers was shot. The guard succumbed to the bullet wound.
Investigators said at least four more robbers are to be apprehended in the case though the first arrest was made yesterday.
The breakthrough in the case came after police managed to fish out dossiers from its records as victims, eye-witnesses and informers providing detailed description of suspects who were spotted in south Delhi's Malviya Nagar and Khirki areas.
Vivek Gogia, Joint Commissioner (South-West), confirmed the arrest of Deepak Sharma, who was allegedly involved in the crime with four others, at a press conference here though he kept silent on the arrest of the relatives of another accused who had hidden a big chuk of the looted money.
Police sources said two relatives of the another accused, who is on the run, were arrested and were produced before court. However, they refused to divulge the names of the arrested saying it could impede the investigations.
The gang had waylaid the cash van, pinned down a security guard and shot him after he tried to snatch their weapons. They fled the spot in the cash van leaving behind the car in which they were following the vehicle.
They abandoned the car in Hauz Rani and later empty cash boxes were found in Khirki village where police deployed personnel in plain clothes on surveillance.
Detailing on the line of investigation, Gogia said four youths were spotted by some locals in Khirki with big boxes and with their description, a portrait of one of the suspects was developed.
"Police sources in Malviya Nagar generated information that the car in which the robbers came was seen moving in the area since last few days and four young persons with similar description as per victim's version were reported," Gogia said.
From the desrciption, police managed to get photographs of two criminals, which the eye-witnesses confirmed as those of the robbers they saw.
Several teams covered Hauz Rani and Khirki and verified recently evicted tenants besides checking with property dealers.
"It was felt that the criminals may still be in the area and all entry and exit points were monitored discreetly. On Saturday morning hours after the heist, police managed to identify a house which was believed to have been used by the suspects.
"Since the suspects were also armed, a raid was planned involving five teams armed with bullet proof jackets and weapons. Information was also developed that the house belonged to one Hari Kishan, who had cases against him. He had recently purchased the house in his wife's name and had recently shifted there," Gogia said.
Raids were conducted at this house and from there, police managed to recover the keys of the cash van, which was abandoned by the gang. Some other documents were also seized from the spot which indicated that the suspects had visited and stayed there, Gogia said.
Police also managed to locate broken iron boxes near the suspect's house and the area was put under surveillance to check whether any of the suspects will come there. But their plans fell after a security guard made a call to police and they had to remove the boxes from the spot.
"Criminal dossiers were culled of the suspects and three to four of them were identified. The dossiers were shown to the victims and police informers who identified the criminals," Gogia said.
Investigations led police to Pushp Vihar in south Delhi from where Sharma was arrested.
"Sharma, 35, a resident of Pushp Vihar, who was previously involved in three other cases, has been arrested in connection with the case. A pistol, two magazines, five cartridges of 9 mm, four cartridges of .32 bore and a mobile phone has been recovered from him besides Rs 1.51 crore," Gogia said.
"On his disclosure, the co-accused persons have been accurately pin-pointed. The raids are going on to search for more accused. In two other raids conducted in neighbouring districts of NCR by the other teams of South District recovered additional robbed cash Rs 85.85 lakh from relatives of other co-accused were recovered," he said.