From being an auto-rickshaw driver in New Delhi to one of the most wanted auto-lifters with over 3,000 cases of car theft against him, this wanted man, now behind bars, had police across half the country on its toes.
Forty-one-year-old Anil Chauhan, who was earlier netted four times by police in different states, is now in custody of Meghalaya Police after being arrested from Assam's Silchar last Monday.
He was declared a Proclaimed Offender by many courts in Delhi and was carrying a reward of Rs 25,000 announced by Delhi Police.
"It is a prized catch for us. He is involved in thousands of cases across the country. Four of his gang members have also been arrested. We are conducting an investigation to get more details," SP, East Khasi Hills, A R Mawthoh said.
His second wife, Geeta was also arrested for partnering him in the crime, he said.
A class 12 dropout, Chauhan was based in Khanpur in south Delhi and drove an auto-rickshaw for a living before becoming an expert in making duplicate keys and stealing cars in large numbers.
Chauhan's auto lifting gang was involved in more than 400 cases of car thefts in Delhi and 3,000 such cases are registered against him in regions spreading from Ladakh to the Northeast.
According to Delhi Police, he and his gang used to take the stolen vehicles to Jammu and Kashmir and Nepal and their disposal chain also extended to the northeast as well as in remote areas of Uttrakhand and some other states.
In 2005, Chauhan shifted base to the northeast where his gang members, posing as executives, hired vehicles and took them to hilly areas like Shillong and Aizwal before killing the drivers at secluded places and driving away.
Chauhan's name and address were recently found from the possession of three alleged car lifters who were found dead on the outskirts of Guwahati after a clash between different gangs over money, police said.