Man behind Serial Thefts in Puttur Arrested
Puttur: Dozens of cases of thefts have taken place in and around Puttur during the recent months. In part, the pattern was the same. Most of them were executed on Saturdays or from houses which happened to remain locked for a few days.
It was clear that a study was being made in advance about the locked houses and the locations by the miscreants.
This made the police to think that an organized gang was in operation. But the chance arrest of a person on suspicion has brought out the fact that all recent thefts were the single-handed work of a man from Kanhangad in Kerala.
After a major theft in the house of advocate K R Acharya in Tenkila on the outskirts, the police had intensified day and night beats. On Friday around noon, they spotted a man moving around in a suspicious manner in Shivanagara in Tenkila.
He was picked and interrogated. He was identified as Tangarajan (64), son of Ponnuvelu and a resident of Muriyanavi in Kanhangad of Kasaragod district in Kerala. Silver pieces worth Rs 25,000 stolen from Acharya’s house have been seized from him.
He confessed to having gone around to find out the houses, the owners of which locked them and went out of station. At least seven thefts around town since January this year were done by him.
His targets were the houses of teacher Chandrashekhar in Haradi, Krishna Bhat of Puttur, Dr Subrahmanya Bhat, Divakar Nidvannaya, Suresh Putturaya and Kudgi Prabhakar Shenoy among others.
The 64-year-old man admitted that he began this profession at the age of 16. He has cases registered against him in Kushalnagar and Kundapur, besides a few in Kerala.
In 2011, he was caught for theft in Udupi and had spent 4 years behind bars. As of now, he has 28 cases registered in his name.
His modus operandi too is interesting. Usually, the mobile calls help the police in tracking down the culprit. But Tangarajan’s case was a challenge for the police since he never owned or used a mobile phone.
The other clues that help investigations are the finger-prints. Here too Tangarajan was smart enough. He used to wrap a cloth around his hands while executing thefts and never failed to wipe everything that he touched so that no evidence would be left behind.
He was produced in court on Friday and has been sent to eight days’ police custody.
District SP Dr Sharanappa has specially commended that police team that nabbed him and assured of cash rewards and citations for the good job done.