'India's biggest car thief', who stole over 5,000 cars, had ₹10-crore villa and 3 wives
One of India’s biggest automobile thieves, Anil Chauhan, has been arrested by the Delhi Police from Central Delhi after a pursuit spanning over three months. Chauhan is accused of stealing more than 5,000 cars and is known for his lavish lifestyle with expensive clothes, gold bracelets and a villa worth Rs 10 crore.
Police said he would take flights from North Eastern states to the capital to commit thefts and then travel back.
The 52-year-old has been successfully selling stolen cars in Gangtok, parts of Assam, Nepal and other places with the help of 25-30 associates. Though he has been arrested before, police said searching for him was not a simple task.
A team led by inspector Sandeep Godara probed thefts of high-end SUVs and sedans in Central Delhi and suspected Chauhan. “Teams were sent to Assam, Sikkim, Nepal and NCR to look for him. To evade arrest, he roams around in expensive cars and poses as a businessman or a government official. He was a contractor working with the Assam government and has sources there,” said an officer.
On August 23, police received a tipoff that Chauhan was in Delhi and is planning to commit more thefts with his associates.
“We arrested him from DBG road with a bike and a pistol. Later, five more pistols were recovered from his possession,” said the officer.
Over the last two decades, Chauhan has not only dealt in stealing cars but also poached rare animals such as rhinos for their horns. Police said he also allegedly smuggles illegal weapons with his cars. He is involved in over 181 cases and was declared a proclaimed offender by the court. The ED has seized his 10 crore villa and other assets.
“He never stops. He has been arrested several times but goes back to stealing cars. He has three main receivers – in Assam, Nepal and Gangtok. He steals cars from Delhi, Noida and Meerut and takes them to his receivers. All cars are sold within a month or two to elude police. Chauhan only takes flights to go back to his hideouts to show he is not involved in any crime,” added the officer.
Chauhan had three wives and seven children, who left him after the ED raids and arrest. Police said two of the wives claimed they didn’t know about Chauhan’s criminal activities and thought he was a car dealer.
Shweta Chauhan, DCP (Central), said, “He was last arrested in January in Assam’s Dispur but got out on bail. This time, we are producing his rap sheet in the court, so he doesn’t come out soon. As per records, he took to stealing in the early 1990s and has been arrested and convicted in many cases.”