Team Mangalorean - Bantwal
Pics Kishor Peraje
Bantwal: Melkar is an important junction near here. For those arriving from Bangalore, Mysore, Madikeri, Puttur and Uppinangady directions, it affords a short-cut towards Mudipu, Mangalore University, Konaje, Deralakatte and Thokkottu. On the other side, it is the gateway to Bantwal town, before approach roads leading to other important centre like Shambhur, Narikombu and Nandavar.
This junction has been growing rapidly over the past years. A state-of-the-art complex called Birva Centre has come up recently. Several other commercial complexes have also come up and more are likely to come up soon. However, this place woke up to a rude shock when theft in two prominent spots was detected on Monday morning.
The theft is suspected to have taken place in the early hours. Although, scores of night buses plying to Bangalore and other stations keep passing by right until morning hours, the heavy rain appears to have proved advantageous to miscreants.
Vaibhav Jewellers, with Yogish Nayak and Dinesh Nayak as partners, and Rajesh Bar and Family Restaurant belonging to Valerian Pinto, have been the main targets. Thieves have broken open the shutter lock, smashed the glass door and gained access into the jewellery shop. Silverware worth Rs 1.50 lakh kept in the showcase and Rs 1.75 lakh cash kept in the counter have been taken away. Effort was made to loot gold ornaments as well. But they remained intact in safety lockers, which could not be opened.
In the Rajesh Bar, the thieves got a booty of Rs 24,000 in cash. They appeared to have decided to celebrate it on the spot. They grabbed the bottles kept in the showcases and helped themselves generously with alcohol and then fled.
The cases of theft that took place at a busy spot by the side of the national highway has worried residents and businessmen alike. Last year too, miscreants took advantage of the rainy season and had looted a jewellery shop in Kalladka and a few houses in Sajipa on Melkar-Mudipu road.
Circle inspector Anil S Kulkarni, town ASI Shekhar and rural ASI Mahesh Prasad and team visited the spot and made investigations.