Police arrest alcoholic in church theft case

Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have cracked the case of theft at a church in West Delhi's Hari Nagar area with the arrest of a 42-year-old alcoholic, putting an end to the community ramification of this crime.

New Delhi: Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have cracked the case of theft at a church in West Delhi's Hari Nagar area with the arrest of a 42-year-old alcoholic, putting an end to the community ramification of this crime.

The accused, identified as Harviner Singh Suri alias Sunny was arrested after a mega manhunt was launched with 20 teams comprising of more than 100 policemen were tasked to work out the case.

The incident took place on the intervening night of 22 and 23 May when an incident of theft occurred in St Kuriakose Elias Chavara Church in Hari Nagar, Delhi by breaking open the lock of the 'Donation Box' beneath the statue of 'Mother Mariam'. The incident was also captured on the CCTV camera.

A case of theft was registered at Hari Nagar Police Station and the investigation was taken up earnestly.

"Keeping in view the sensitivity of the case, resources of the entire district were put on work. 20 teams comprising of more than 100 policemen were tasked to catch the accused. More than thousand people were examined and around 100 suspects were rounded up," said DCP (West) Pushpendra Kumar.

The hard work finally paid off when Harvinder Singh Suri, a alcoholic/addict was apprehended. Initially, he tried to dodge the police, but later confessed to his guilt.

"A class 12 drop out, Suri started living away from the house and also became an addict of alcohol/ganja etc. He started committing petty thefts to meet his requirements," said Kumar.

He also went to jail in a theft case earlier. During interrogation, the accused also disclosed that there is a general view among his group of mischief mongers that they can get easy money by committing theft near religious places from people visiting there and also from the donation boxes where people donate as they can easily camouflage himself as devotee with easy safe escape, he added.

According to police, this belief led him to committing theft in the Church. He did reccee of the place by visiting this Hari Nagar Church and made up his mind to target the donation box beneath the 'Statue of the Mother Mariam" which is located outside the building near gate and is least risky.

So, he entered in the Church during prayer time, disguising himself as a devotee. On completion of prayer, he hid himself around in the Church and went near the 'Statue of the Mother Mariam' and broke the lock of the donation box beneath it and took whatever was there (claims around Rs 200) lying in the box.

He further disclosed that it also came to his knowledge that police is searching for him so he was hiding himself, said Kumar.