KOCHI: New modi operandi of burglary are keeping the city police on their toes. After cracking the trend of high-tech burglars flying into Kochi, officers are after a new breed of Malayali women thieves who roam the streets, carrying babies on their hips, to mark potential break-in targets.
Earlier, such crimes were committed by nomads, mostly from Tamil Nadu. Now, women gangs in Kerala are on the radar, say officers. These women use unique markings as a signal to gang members that a particular house is on the potential hit-list, the officers add.
Recently, four women in their early 20s, hailing from Kozhikode and Wayanad, were for arrested for stealing valuables worth Rs 25 lakh from a house on Church Lane near Lakshmi Hospital.
“Generally, they target locked houses,” says an officer. “After conducting recce during the day, they break in with male accomplices at night. They check for CCTV cameras and avoid houses that have the surveillance system. They don’t hesitate to attack if somebody is found inside the house while breaking in.”
Though the house near Lakshmi Hospital did not have any surveillance system, a probe team led by Assistant Commissioner C Jayakumar cracked the case with the help of CCTV visuals from a nearby building.
Investigation extended to other parts of the state and search ops were carried out in Kannur, Kozhikode, and Wayanad, say officers. A team led by Central SHO S Vijay Shankar arrested Amaravathi (20), of Kozhikode, and Wayanad natives Devi (22) Kasthuri (22) and Devi (21).