A screenshot from the CCTV footage which shows members of the chaddi gang.
A screenshot from the CCTV footage which shows members of the chaddi gang.

'Chaddi' gang strikes near Vijayawada? Cops probing CCTV footage

The gangs usually operate in groups of five or more and carry out burglaries in their undergarments.

Five members suspected to be part of a 'Chaddi' gang of burglars were caught on camera entering an apartment at Guntupalli near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. The video, which was recorded by CCTV cameras installed at an apartment complex in Krishna district, shows five men dressed in undergarments sneaking their way up a set of stairs. One of them is seen holding a large rod as well. All the burglars also wore masks to cover their identities.

Speaking to TNM, a police official said that no incident of burglary was reported. "They tried to break into a house at around 2.30 am and tried to break open a door, but an owner was alerted. On hearing this, they fled. No theft was reported," he said.

Watch the video below.

'Chaddi' gangs, sometimes known as 'Chaddi Baniyan' gangs or 'Kachcha Baniyan' gangs, usually operate with the same modus operandi. A group of people strip down to their undergarments, wear masks and cover themselves in oil or other slippery substances to give people the slip if they are caught. They generally move in groups of five or more people, scout for potential houses to strike at, and commit burglaries in the night. There have also been reported instances where the burglars have tied up family members before making off with jewellery and other loot.

In October this year, after a series of burglaries were reported in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, there was speculation that the gang was operating in the city after two thefts took place — first in an apartment at Tiruchanoor where 260 grams of gold and 1,500 grams of silver were stolen and a burglary a day later at Vidya Nagar where the accused decamped with 4 grams of gold as they couldn't find any other valuables.

Similar gangs have also struck at many places in Hyderabad and Telangana, prompting the city police to take action. In January 2019, the Cyberabad police said that it busted an inter-state 'chaddi' gang from Gujarat, by arresting two people and cracking the case of eight robberies in Hyderabad.

Explaining their modus operandi, the police had said at the time, "The chaddi gang criminals usually belong to Gujarat state and are doing labour work for their livelihood and living in very remote areas in Dahod district of Gujarat. When they are coming to commit offences in Hyderabad and other areas, usually they travel by train and spend their day in railway stations and slums and do recce of locked houses. After sunset, they go to nearby bushes of the colonies of the houses identified by them and wait till midnight."

"After midnight, they remove their trousers and shirt in the bushes and tie them and footwear to their waist. Then, they go to the locked houses of nearby bushes and commit the offences. After completion of the offence they will stay in the same bushes up to 5 am in the morning and slowly leave the area and move individually in nearby railway stations and slum areas till evening," the police added.

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