LAHORE - Police at Jinnah Hospital checkpost Sunday arrested red-handed a 10-year-old kid, bearing tattoo on his right arm, and allegedly recovered nine cellphones from his possession, which the young 'thief had stolen in just one day. The minor identified as Shahzeb Ali, a resident of Green Town, was one of the members of the children gang comprising 12 other young 'thieves aged between 10-14 years. The 'gang operates in the emergencies of various teaching hospitals of the City. The ringleader of the children gang could not be traced, as the arrested boy had no information about the whereabouts or identification of the ringleader. During interrogation, the police found a tattoo with SF XXX inscribed on the right arm of the boy with a sign of small circle bellow. This tattoo shows identity and seniority for the other members of the gang, police investigators said. The philosophy of the ringleader to make tattoo on the arms was to determine seniority of the 'minors in the field. He perhaps followed the police system where the officials were given seniority in recognition of their best field services by fixing stars on their shoulders. He was recently 'transferred from the Children Hospital, Lahore to the emergency department of the Jinnah Hospital against an 'existing vacancy as another boy who was already operating in the said hospital (Jinnah Hospital) had been transferred to Shaikh Zayed Hospital by the ringleader. According to revelations made by the arrested boy during interrogation, all the members (boys) of the young thieves gang were given assignment to target only those people who were upset due to state of health of their patient brought to hospital in a critical condition, and, such people were soft targets as compared to those visiting hospital in routine. As for the ringleader, the boy told the police that he was above 35 years and used to collect the stolen mobiles from them outside the emergency departments of the hospital during surprise visits. He further divulged to the police that the said tattoo was marked on his arm by his ringleader as recognition of his skills in stealing mobile phones. Another purpose to make tattoo on the arm was to mark his services as thief so perfect that he had never been arrested or caught by the targeted prey or the police in the past while stealing mobile phones, he further told the police. He said that two other children operating in Shaikh Zayed Hospital and Mayo Hospital were bearing same tattoos on their arms for showing excellent performance. A police investigator told this scribe seeking anonymity that the boy arrested by the police was looking very mature as compared to his age as the way he was answering to the questions of the policemen during interrogation was surprising for them showing that he was imparted proper training by an expert criminal. To a question the police investigator said that the ringleader of the children gang was using innocent teenaged to avoid legal action, as the police had no authority to book minors for committing heinous crime. Another advantage to hire services of the children in the crime was that usually the victims do not take legal action against them. Giving details about the red-handed arrest of the minor and his modus operandi, the investigator said, a 50-year-old man Muhammad Aslam brought his young son suffering from gastroenteritis at the emergency department of the Jinnah Hospital. Doctors prescribed medicines and asked him to immediately brought the medicine from pharmacy situated in the emergency department. As soon as he rushed hurriedly for medicine, the boy who was observing the old man in hurriedness followed him showing as if he (old man) was his relative. The boy later took out cellphone from the pocket of the man and disappeared. When the man came to know about the incident he informed the hospital administration. An official of the administration made call on the lost cellphone that kept on ringing. As soon as the official making the call came close to a window of the ward, he heard the bell on stolen cellphone hidden in the bushes just outside the emergency department. Later, the hospital administration deployed some employees around the bushes to have an eye on suspects. Around 10 minutes later, a boy carrying a cellphone reached there and left another cellphone at the same place where the stolen cell phone of victim old man was lying. The hospital employees later caught the boy when he was about to leave the place perhaps to commit another crime. The staff of the hospital recovered nine cellphones from the very spot. The boy was then handed over to the police deployed at checkpost in the Jinnah Hospital who later shifted him to the Garden Town Police Station for further interrogation. When contacted the duty officer at Garden Town police said that the boy had been released as the police could not take action against him being juvenile. The duty officer further claimed that the victims, deprived of their mobile phones by the said boy, did not want legal action against him. To a question, the duty officer said that there was no need to bring the matter of releasing the boy into the knowledge of any senior police officers, as it was a routine incident. Superintendent Police (SP) Model Town Division Ayaz Saleem took a very serious notice of the release of the young boy before the capture of the ringleader. He directed the DSP Garden Town to probe into the incident as to how the police released the boy without unearthing the ringleader of the gang. He also asked him to ensure re-arrest of the minor within 24-hours and trace the actual culprit behind the crime of using minors in such ugly practices. Ayaz Saleem told this scribe that though responsibility could not be fixed on the minor but it was polices job to unearth gang leader or other young criminals depriving citizens of their belongings.