Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested four members of a rickshaw theft gang, including its mastermind, during raids in Sabujbagh and Mugda areas of the capital Wednesday.
The elite force members also seized 23 battery-run autorickshaws, 18 batteries of autorickshaws, four mobile phones and four master keys used to steal vehicles0 from the arrestees.
The arrestees are mastermind Md Kamal Hossain Komol, 36, Md Saju, 35, Md Fazlul Haque, 30, and Md Shahin Sardar, 60.
Kamal Hossain stole over 500 battery-run autorickshaws in the last five years, RAB-3 Commander Lt Arif Mohiuddin said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
"Kamal Hossain came to Dhaka in search of work 15 years ago and started driving rickshaws. One day his rickshaw was stolen. Then the owner of the rickshaw asked for the price of the stolen rickshaw from him. He had to take loans to give to the owner. In order to repay the loan, Kamal started looking for the stolen rickshaw. Then he met the members of the criminal world. After that he chose rickshaw stealing as his profession," said the RAB official.
The gang used to repaint the stolen rickshaws and sell in the open market. These rickshaws were sold for Tk5,000-12,000.
According to RAB, mastermind Kamal Hossain used to change his strategy from time to time in stealing vehicles, keeping stolen rickshaws in safe places and selling the stolen vehicles to avoid being caught by the law enforcement agencies.
All of the arrested members of the gang are skilled in peddling rickshaw.