Four youths have been arrested in Nagpur, India, for breaking into a store and then attempting to sell cell phones they had stolen in order to pay back gambling debts. The four teenagers, all between the ages of sixteen and seventeen – which makes them legal minors in India – were arrested by police when sub-inspector Ashok Deotale saw them loitering around a pan kiosk at Sahakar Nagar. When the teens acted suspiciously when confronted with routine questions, police brought them back to the station for further questioning and the group was soon spilling their guts about their crime.
Forty five thousand Rs in cash and twelve cell phones were stolen in the robbery, which came as a big surprise to the teen’s families, none of whom have any criminal connections or record themselves. Police say the four teenagers have become involved with gambling and that spending time in the presence of gamblers and pickpockets had led them to consider robbery as an acceptable means of acquiring cash. The forty five thousand Rs in cash had been used to pay back gambling debts, while of the cell phones, some had been kept for personal use while the group had in some cases successfully attempted to sell cell phone technology. “They succeeded in selling most of the cell phones,” says one police officer. “They sold each cell phone for around four thousand Rs.” Deotale says the group has admitted to having previously been stealing water pumps and other scraps and then selling them for money. “With the money they got, they would go for drinks and betting,” he adds.