Former football coach held for stealing phones of players

A former football coach has been arrested for allegedly stealing the phones and wallets of the Delhi United Football Club players from a dressing room at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Shekhar Pathak, a resident of Pandav Nagar, wanted to take revenge for his removal from position of coach, said the police.

On March 13, the police received information regarding the theft of 12 mobile phones and purses containing around ₹10,000 of the team of Delhi United Football Club, a senior police officer said.

Enquiry revealed that one dressing room was allotted to the team of Delhi United Football Club. All players kept their belongings in the cabins of the dressing room, the police said.

However, when they returned after completion of the match, their cabins were found ransacked. All the players found that their phones and purses had been stolen, the officer said.

“During investigation, the police checked all the CCTV cameras on the JLNS premises. The security as well as management staff of JLNS was thoroughly enquired about any suspicious entry into the dressing room,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said.

After a couple of months, one of the stolen phones was detected to be switched on. The person having the phone was interrogated who told the police that Pathak sold him that mobile. He returned it to him after the accused failed to show the original receipt of that mobile phone, the police said.

Later, the accused was arrested from his house. Nine mobile phones were recovered from his possession, the DCP said.

Pathak was a district-level football player and played in Lions Club football team from 2004 to 2010 . He started his career as a football coach in March 2011. Students of Nehru Stadium hired him as a coach where he continued from 2011 to 2013, police said.

In 2013, on the complaint of one of the coaches for not being punctual in the ground and sincere towards his duty, he was removed from the post of coach, the DCP said.

Later, he also started his own Shubham Football Academy at Preet Vihar, but he did not succeed and closed the academy.

Since he was familiar with JLNS and the dressing rooms, he committed the crime for taking the revenge, the police added.

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