CHENNAI: A 54-year-old widow, rendered homeless due to debt and shunned by her children, was caught by the public when she tried to steal money by breaking open a temple hundi at Korukkupet on Wednesday night.
The woman, B Selvi, a resident of CB Road, Ambedkar Nagar, ran into debt to support herself after the demise of her husband, Balaraman. With arrears mounting and no means to pay them back, Selvi was cornered by loan sharks and forced out of her house by one for defaulting on payment.
According to police, though Selvi had five children, none of them were ready to take responsibility of their mother and her debt.
With no roof to live under and children refusing to take her in, the destitute woman was on the footpaths sleeping with stray animals. Distraught Selvi finally decided to steal money.
A little past midnight on Wednesday, the neighbourhood of Thiruvallur Nagar, where Muthaalamman temple is situated, woke up to the sound of metal hitting cast iron. A crowd gathered and she was seen breaking open the hundi with a crowbar.
She was nabbed and handed over to the police. Selvi was remanded to judicial custody and lodged in Puzhal Central prison.