CHENNAI: A week after a 60-year-old woman was robbed of her diamond jewellery worth over Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 lakh cash in front of a bank in Virugambakkam by a con gang, police arrested the man whom they suspected had planned the heist.
S Benjamin and his gang had diverted the attention of the woman, S Ramadevi by throwing some itchy liquid on her and fled with her handbag.
On December 19, Ramadevi, of Rathnagar Street, Virugambakkam visited the State Bank of India branch on Kaliamman Koil Street to withdraw jewellery she had pledged as well as cash.
Benjamin and his gang who were watching the woman targeted her when she stepped out.
“One of them threw some liquid causing irritation on her skin. As the distressed woman sat down on her bike, one of gang members offered to wash it with water. When she went to a store to get a water bottle, a gang member slipped away with her handbag,” police said.
Ramadevi realised she was conned after she found her handbag missing from the bike. She registered a complaint with the Virugambakkam police. Investigators who checked the CCTV footages from the area narrowed down on the accused and began hunting for them. On Friday, a team caught Benjamin on Arunachalam Street near another bank.
After sustained questioning, Benjamin of Rajamangalam confessed committing the crime. He was also involved in similar cases at Maduravoyal where he stole Rs 1 lakh from a 63- year-old man who withdrew cash from a bank there.
Benjamin was remanded in judicial custody. The stolen diamond jewellery (a necklace and a nose stud) and the cash were recovered and handed over to Ramadevi, police said.
Police have begun a hunt for Benjamin’s associates.