CHENNAI: The fine art of thievery requires tact and skill. Not everyone are gifted with those qualities. M Nalliveeran learnt it the hard way, a lesson that, perhaps, he will not forget for the rest of his life. The 28-year-old had an impressive streak on Thursday night. He allegedly stole a total of six mobile phones at Marina Beach. Least did he imagine that the victims would use a simple trick to nab him.
This is how the story goes: K Vellaiyappan (29), Mohan, Karthik and Lingeshwaran are contract labourers working at the former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa memorial for the last three months. Around 3 am on Friday morning, when they were sleeping in a makeshift tent near the memorial, their phones went missing. They realised it when one of them woke up, looking for his phone.
They immediately borrowed a phone from their friend and made a video call to Lingeshwaran’s phone. The suspect accidentally answered the call while the victims quickly took a screen shot. Now, they had a picture of the man who had stolen their phones. Sporting a red tee and black backpack, he was standing in front of the Egmore railway station when he answered the call.
The victims rushed to the railway station and tried calling him once more, around 4 am. Again, phone-friendly suspect eagerly answered the call. This time he was travelling in a train. After that he went incommunicado for a while – not attending any calls. It lasted for all of two hours. He answered a video call from the victims for the third time, now standing in the front of a shop in Ranganathan Street.
That’s all the victims needed. They rushed to the spot and found the accused standing there talking to a mobile shop owner, probably striking a deal to sell the phones. They overpowered the suspect, who himself had guided them to his location, and handed him over at Anna Square police station. Police identified the accused as Nalliveeran, a native of Coimbatore. He has been remanded.