5 Minors Arrested for EV Charging Station Equipment Theft in Chandigarh

The juveniles, aged between 8 and 11, sold expensive equipment to two scrap dealers for a few thousand Rupees

The Chandigarh police have apprehended five minors and two scrap dealers for their involvement in the theft and vandalism of equipment valued at Rs 1 crore from upcoming electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations in Sector 42, as per multiple media sources. The five juveniles, aged between 8 and 11, sold expensive equipment to two scrap dealers for a few thousand rupees.

The two scrap dealers are facing charges of their involvement in receiving stolen items under Section 379 of the IPC. Authorities have successfully retrieved the stolen items, which include seven motherboards, miniature circuit breakers, electric meters, iron covers, and chargers.

On March 18, police initiated a case following a complaint lodged by TC Nautiyal, the director of environment at UT. He reported the theft of equipment from EV charging stations situated at Sector 42 Lake and Palm Garden.

With the help of CCTV cameras, the police identified the juveniles as the primary suspects. The juveniles admitted to selling the stolen goods to scrap dealers Ganga Ram, residing in Jhampur Colony, Mohali, and Mukesh Kumar, a resident of Sector 41. Both were regular buyers of scrap materials in Palsora.

During further questioning, the scrap dealers admitted their involvement in the crime and said they bought stolen items from children for small amounts of money. They also revealed that some stolen items had been sold to other scrap dealers.

According to the police, the juveniles reside in Adarsh Colony, Sector 54. In January, they collected discarded items after a fire at the furniture market in Sector 52 and sold them to scrap dealers. They sold some metal pieces from the fire’s remains for between Rs 150 to Rs 200. This led the juveniles to steal more metal.

In the current case, the police, after reviewing CCTV footage, observed that the group stole during the evenings from March 4 to March 12.

The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) recommended counselling for the five boys. According to the police, they are too young to be detained in a juvenile home. On police recommendation, the board will also arrange for their enrolment in a school. The juveniles never received any education and spent their time wandering around. 

In Chandigarh, electric vehicle (EV) charging station installation is underway at 53 different locations. Moreover, the aim is to have them operational by March 31. However, there is a lack of safety protocols in place.