Frenzied diwali party helps Kerala police solve gold heist case
The probe on the case pertaining to Pangode Residential Cooperative Society at Edapazhanji in October 2012 ticked all the above-mentioned boxes.
KOCHI: Crime investigation can be best compared to solving jigsaw puzzles. As in solving the puzzle, solving a crime case is a culmination of a coming together of lots of things: detective brilliance, teamwork, keenness in observation and a steady flow of information. The probe on the case pertaining to Pangode Residential Cooperative Society at Edapazhanji in October 2012 ticked all the above-mentioned boxes.
Approximately 291 sovereign gold ornaments and cash to the tune of Rs 1.2 lakh were stolen from the society. The culprits had used the high-temperature gas gun to melt the safe locker made of metal after breaking in through the window bar and collapsible grill of the strong room.
Then Crime Detachment Assistant Commissioner K E Baiju, who is now Kozhikode city deputy commissioner, was appointed to lead the probe. Under him, the special team was divided into three groups to widen the probe and cover various angles involved in the crime. However, despite all the efforts, the probe was going nowhere.
When it seemed the probe was hitting a roadblock, the probe team got a piece of information, which was the fruit of their keen observation of the places around the spot where the crime had taken place. The information was that on Diwali day, a group of men staying at a house some three kilometres away from the crime spot had indulged in an opulent celebration that was way beyond their limit.
There were also talks of the participants getting costly presents for Diwali. This information retrieved by the probe team from the local residents intrigued Baiju. The police ran a background check, which revealed that a person named Shyju, who was involved in cheating cases using spurious gold, was staying at the house. Those who indulged in the Diwali bash were identified as his wife Sindhu and his associates Sajith Chandran, Unni, Renjith, Kannan and Arun.
On questioning them, the sleuths finally solved the puzzle and got the plot. Shyju connived with seasoned criminals Reji George and Aji, who was accused of murdering his father, and a Tamil Nadu native Jack Thomas, who is accused of killing his brother, to commit the theft. It was Sindhu who told the team members about the gold being kept in society. There were ten accused in the case.
Baiju notes the information collected from the ground on the expensive Diwali celebration gave the police team the much-needed breakthrough. “It was a challenging case. But once we got the vital clue, we managed to wrap it up with proper follow-up and action,” he says.
This weekly column brings you exciting, intriguing police stories, straight from the crime files