Delhi: Kidnapper in police net after six day manhunt

After days of technical surveillance and on-ground action, the accused kidnapper, identified as Prateek Srivastava, was arrested on July 4.
Man who kidnapped two kids last week in Delhi got caught on July 4. Image used for representation.
Man who kidnapped two kids last week in Delhi got caught on July 4. Image used for representation.Express Illustrations

NEW DELHI: A week ago, the night-time streets of the national capital stood witness to a high-speed car chase fit for Hollywood screens – an alleged kidnapper in flight in a stolen car with two terrified children inside, and over 20 police vehicles in hot pursuit. After a three-hour-long chase, cops eventually caught up with the vehicle. Even with the children rescued, and reunited with their parents, the accused managed to slip away and vanish.

In an effort to apprehend the daring miscreant, police teams toiled for days, scanning every CCTV footage along the stretch of winding roads, right from the place where it started in East Delhi’s Vikas Marg, until the site where it ended.

After days of technical surveillance and on-ground action, the accused kidnapper, identified as Prateek Srivastava, was arrested on July 4, police said.

The incident took place on June 28, when the accused, spotting a seemingly abandoned car with two children inside, a 3-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl seized the opportunity to take the driver’s seat and sped away. telling the girl that her father has asked her to move the car.

When the girl protested, the criminal brandished a meat cleaver and threatened to harm her if she made a noise. The children, bewildered and terrified, were thrust into a real-life thriller. When the parents returned, they saw their car gone. The father then dialled the phone with his daughter.

The moment it rang, the kidnapper snatched the phone from the girl and answered the call. He demanded Rs 50 lakh for the safe return of her children. Panic-stricken, the parents alerted the police. Given the gravity of the situation, the entire district was mobilized.

Under interrogation, the accused Shrivastava revealed he had observed instances where parents briefly left their children in cars with the engine running prompting him to devise a plan to steal children along with the car and demand a significant ransom. He meticulously planned the kidnapping at Heera Sweets, having conducted reconnaissance of the area a week and four days before the incident.

On the fateful day, he waited at Heera Sweets for more than two hours until 10:30 pm when the victims arrived in their car.

Ransom via delivery

The accused disclosed that he had planned to collect the ransom via fast delivery app services like Porter, or WeFast, which deliver within hours of booking the services, the police said.

Thrilling Rescue

The accused kidnapper, realizing he was trapped with cops closing in, abandoned the car in the Samaypur Badli area, leaving the children behind, and vanished. The children were rescued and reunited with their parents.

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