New Delhi | Septuagenarian auto-lifter Dhani Ram Mittal, known as super Natwarlal, has been arrested for the 24th time, police said today. The anti auto theft squad of west Delhi police yesterday arrested 77-year-old Mittal, active in stealing vehicles since 1964, from Paschim Vihar area at around 7 PM, said Pushpendra Kumar, DCP(west).
Mittal who was born in Haryana’s Bhiwani in 1939 holds a law degree besides having a diploma in calligraphy. At least 130 criminal cases are registered against him in different parts of North India. During interrogation, Mittal said that he is a compulsive thief (kleptomaniac) and had stolen more than a thousand cars from Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Punjab, the officer said.
He had been previously arrested in cases under NDPS Act, Arms Act, Gambling Act, Excise Act and for escaping from police custody, impersonation and cheating. Mittal usually targeted old model vehicles lacking anti-theft devices, with the help of a master key.
His interrogation is in progress to know about his involvement in other criminal activities, the officer said. Mittal started his criminal career from Rohtak by forging driving licenses and registration papers of vehicles. He was arrested for the first time in 1964 in Rohtak for preparing forged documents of vehicles.
Later, he became a forgery expert and in the meantime he did LLB in 1970. He also pursued calligraphy from Kolkata. The accused was earlier arrested by police on March 31 this year in an auto-theft case and was released from jail on May 4.
He soon returned to his profession and stole three vehicles in quick succession from Shalimar Bagh, Parshant Vihar and K N Katju Marg, which were established through CCTV footage, the officer added.