The veteran crook responsible for more than 500 burglaries, who also inspired a Bollywood film, has been caught by police in India.
Devinder Singh, popularly known as Bunty Chor, was captured by police after breaking into Dubai businessman Venugopalan Nair’s house, and is currently being held in custody.
Singh has been committing crimes since his teenage years in 1993, undertaking hundreds of robberies, and rising to become a national celebrity. Despite several arrests, the Delhi man has continued his criminal career, yet still found time to appear on reality TV show ‘Bigg Boss Season Four’ in 2010.
After being imprisoned for three years in 2005, police tried to rehabilitate him by employing him with a detective agency, but to no avail.
His latest arrest came after being caught on CCTV at Nair’s so-called ‘high-tech house’ on 20 January, when he stole goods worth AED45,000 (US$12,250) including a Mitsubishi Outlander car, a laptop and mobile phones. Footage of the robbery was released by Kerala police to TV stations, leading to his arrest at a lodge in Pune.
Police say that when they entered his room he was watching coverage of his own exploits on the television.
Nair’s house featured not only four CCTV cameras, but movement detectors inside all rooms. However, his family slept through the incident as the motion detection system was turned off at the time.
He said: “He jumped over the compound wall at midnight as the gate was locked. He pried open the window by sawing off the grooves of the metal frame. Once he entered the house, he ransacked the cupboards in the living room and got hold of the car keys.
“He was so cool and composed and there was no trace of tension in his face.”
Singh became a well-known name after the release of Bollywood movie ‘Oye Lucky Lucky Oye’ in 2008, which is reportedly based on his life.
Since the arrest of the high profile crook, Nair has shot to fame as the owner of the house that helped to catch the career criminal.
“People are flocking to my ‘high-tech house’,” he said of the five-bedroom property in the state capital Trivandrum.
“Advertising agencies want to feature me in product ads. Movie script writers and directors have already approached me. An American electronic company has asked me to be their brand ambassador,” he added.
Singh will remain in judicial custody until 12 February, but is alleged to have vowed to continue his scurrilous lifestyle, reportedly saying to an official “I will die only after I commit a thousand burglaries.”