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Next time you leave your newspapers to collect on your doorstep when you leave for vacation, think twice because it might lead to a robbery at your house. At least it did at this home in Noida, India.

A gang of robbers were looking for houses to target and a stack of newspaper proved to be very unlucky for the owner, according to a report by the news magazine India Today's website.

The three-member gang targeted at least four flats in gated societies in Noida recently and took cash, jewellery and electronic items.

Soon a police investigation started.

On October 16, they were arrested from a park while they were planning another theft, police told India Today.

The three-member gang has previously committed crimes in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Punjab, Gujarat and Mumbai, police were quoted as saying.

The accused have been identified as Rakesh and Ranjeet, both natives of Pratapgarh, and Manoj who hails from Unchahar in Raebareli, according to police. The three have been staying in Ghaziabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

"The gang has several cases of theft and robbery against them. They used to target houses which were close to a garden or park in order to have a safe entry into the house and an easy escape out," Noida Superintendent of Police Vineet Jaiswal was quoted as saying by India Today.

"They would also reconnoitre societies to target vulnerable flats by noticing which ones had newspapers lying in front of their doors, suggesting the occupants have been away for a long times, and then strike. When approaching the flat for theft, the trio would use catapults to throw stones in some random direction to divert the attention of security guards and then sneak into the houses," the official added.

Reportedly, the gang targeted houses on the weekends when they were more likely to be empty.

The police have also seized USD 80 (Dh290) and Rs 51,500 (Dh 2,656) in cash, eight mobile phones, jewellery four yellow metal bangles, one yellow metal necklace, a pair of metal anklets, four LED televisions, a CCTV camera, a firearm and a knife, according to police.