On August 26, 2016, an affluent looking young man walked up to the porch of Holiday Inn, Aerocity in New Delhi. His branded suit, shiny shoes and gelled hair gave off the air of a man who’s arrived in life. As he pretended to talk on his iPhone in fluent English, he reached for the valet counter and picked up the key to an Audi Q7. Moments later, he walked off to the hotel’s driveway, located the luxury SUV, got in, and drove off.
The man in question is 35-year old Satendra Singh Shekhawat, not the successful businessman you’d imagined him to be, but a professional luxury car thief. About that Audi he took off in, it features in the list of 20-odd luxury cars that he stole, all from five-star hotels. Unlike other car thieves, who go about their business surreptitiously, Satendra masqueraded as a well-dressed, rich man about to pick up his luxury car from a five-star hotel.
His attire and mannerisms deluded the valets and guards, who never thought twice about stopping from picking up any luxury car key he found, as if it were his. Satendra, an MBA in marketing, allegedly stole these luxury cars, including Audis, Mercedes’ and BMWs from different five-star hotels across the country using the same modus operandi. He was finally nabbed by the police on Tuesday (13 September) near Hyaat Regency Hotel in New Delhi after being tipped off.
The crime branch picked up his trail after Arjun Garg, the owner of the aforementioned Audi Q7, filed a complained that his car was stolen from the drive way of Holiday Inn, Aerocity. Arjun said that after having dinner at the five-star hotel, he was surprised to see his Audi missing from the driveway, as he had given the keys to the valet parking attendant. He frantically asked around for his car, and was told that someone (Satendra) talking over the phone and loitering near the valet parking desk took the keys to Arjun’s car.
Upon checking the CCTV footage from the hotel’s driveway, the theft was confirmed. On Arjun’s complaint, a case was registered and teams formed to trace the convicted. On September 12, the police received specific information that Satendra would make his move again, this time from the Hyaat Regency Hotel. A trap was laid out near the five-star hotel located at Delhi Fire Station Ring Road, and an Audi Q7 bearing MH registration was intercepted by the police. Upon questioning and checking, it was found out that it was indeed Saterndra behind the wheel of the Audi Q7 that he had stolen from Holiday Inn hotel.
It was later found out that Satendra Singh Shekhawat had earlier been arrested thrice and had served jail time Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan for stealing cars. In February 2016 he was released from Jodhpur jail and began his vehicle stealing spree again. He used the same method for stealing high-end cars in several cities including Gurgaon, Pune and Mumbai. After his arrest, eight cases of motor vehicle theft have been slapped against him. About the stolen cars, Satendra later revealed during interrogation that he used to hand them over to “trustworthy receivers” who used the vehicles for drug trafficking purposes.
Source: Hindustan Times