KOCHI: A robber is out on the prowl in the city and 400 volunteers are after him. In an attempt to nab notorious burglar Mariyar Pootham, alias Johnson, hundreds associated with various residents' associations and organisations under the Ernakulam North police limits have been engaged in night patrolling.
The residents are worried after Pootham broke into a shop and three houses in the city last week. During the past 21 days, he is suspected to be involved in three break-ins and eight burglary attempts in Kaloor and Kathrikadavu areas, said police.
The CCTV footage had already confirmed the presence of Pootham in the vicinity of the places where the break-ins were attempted. It was in March 2018 that the city police arrested Pootham, a native of Colachel in Tamil Nadu, after he had evaded arrest for nearly a year.
The police have intensified patrolling for the past two weeks. They also deployed two additional patrolling teams on Tuesday.
A six-member special squad is patrolling the area during daytime, especially focusing on locked and abandoned buildings, since the burglar used to stay in such buildings. Currently, two mobile squads and two motorcycle teams carry out night patrolling.
To coordinate the measures to nab the criminal, the North police convened meetings of residents’ associations. The councillors in the area have given an assurance to make all streetlights working at night by replacing the dysfunctional ones.
"His modus operandi is to broke into a house and leave for his place in Tamil Nadu with the valuables. However, the locals had spotted him in the evening and noon recently. Hence, we suspect that he has not left the area," said VB Anas, SI, Ernakulam North station. According to him, Mariyar Pootham will be nabbed soon as residents have extended their help.