Mumbai Crime: Meet the woman who taught teen boys the art of stealing

Mumbai police arrest 40-year-old woman who taught gang of boys -- aged 12-14. The gang would make human pyramids to break into houses; one of the thieves, her own son, is already a kleptomaniac

Kusum GuptaKusum Gupta

Nehru Nagar police officials have arrested a 40-year-old woman for training her 12-year-old kleptomaniac son and his three friends how to scale walls to break into houses. Cops said the gang primarily operated in the Kurla region.

According to police sources, the accused, Kusum Gupta, trained her son and his friends to form a human pyramid to scale walls and trespass into different homes through windows. “The boys — all between 12-14 years — are barely 3.5 feet in height, but they can climb walls 8-9 feet high. Kusum’s husband had no clue about his wife’s activities,” said an officer.

The crime came to light when a Nehru Nagar resident reported theft by a child, last week. The complainant, Ajaz Ansari (40), said, “I returned home from my garment factory with R35,000 in my shirt pocket, and I put it on a hanger in my room. After dinner, when my wife and I went to bed, we heard some noise from the other room. I got up to find four children running out of our house. I screamed for someone to stop them, but they fled with two mobile phones and the money. The next day, I lodged a complaint and identified the boy — they live in our locality.”

Apparently, cops had warned the 12-year-old on previous occasions to refrain from stealing. “After identifying the boy, we questioned him about the theft and he confessed how their gang operates. He said his mother taught them how to scale walls. We raided their home and found all the stolen valuables and arrested Kusum Gupta. We had warned the kid to refrain from such activities on previous occasions, but this time, we have sent his entire gang for counseling at the child correction home, Bal Sudhar Grah,” said SG Rathod, the investigating officer. Sources confirmed that the 12-year-old suffers from kleptomania.

"The psychologist examined the boy and said he has kleptomania. We have sought the help of an NGO for counseling," an official added.

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