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‘Phantom’ arrested in Shillong

Correspondent , SHILLONG, JUL 13
Published on 14 Jul. 2011 1:43 AM IST
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He is not quite the ‘ghost-who-walks’ but Meghalaya Police are patting themselves on the back after arresting this elusive “Phantom”, accused of a string of burglaries and motorbike thefts. The stealthy but confident David Lyngdoh, 24, had proved elusive for months. But unlike the comic book superhero, he was on the wrong side of things. Lyngdoh, who identifies himself as Phantom, was arrested early Tuesday from his wife’s house at Nongspung village, about 45 km from Shillong. The state has a matrilineal society, where the man lives in his wife’s house. “It is a big catch for us. We finally got Phantom after a long hunt. He is not a criminal to be taken lightly,” Vivek Syiem, the addl SP (Crime) said. Police said there are at least 13 cases of theft and robbery registered against him. He enjoyed stealing motorbikes, and in fact prefered Bajaj Pulsars and Hero Honda Karizmas. “He has stolen 11 motorbikes, mostly Pulsar and Karizma, but we have recovered only four,” Syiem said. Police have recovered a helmet, two fake number plates, six mobile phones, one digital camera, a Tata Photon and a duplicate key to a motorbike. Police say this Phantom is also skilled in entering people’s homes and stealing anything he wants. “Phantom used to enter homes confidently, lock up people in a room, and spend time cooking, even frying eggs! He is different from other criminals,” Syiem said. Police say they will seek his detention under the Meghalaya Prevention Detention Act (MPDA). Phantom was first arrested in 2008 and lodged in Shillong district jail. The same year, he escaped from the Shillong Civil Hospital while police were taking him for treatment. He was rearrested. He managed to come out on bail last year. But it didn’t take him long to take to his old ways. Lyngoh, or Phantom as he calls himself, is behind bars again.

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