India’s 'most wanted' thief finally caught

Veteran crook who inspired Bollywood film finally caught after robbing Dubai man's house
Prison, prisoner generic
By Neil King
Thu 31 Jan 2013 10:39 AM

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.”

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