Four members of 'chaddi' gang held hours after they looted home of elderly couple in Mangaluru

They assaulted the couple with rods and screw drivers and took away gold ornaments, wrist watches and a mobile phone worth more than Rs 13 lakh.
Police said the accused confessed to the crime and the booty was recovered from their possession (Photo | Special arrangement)
Police said the accused confessed to the crime and the booty was recovered from their possession (Photo | Special arrangement)

MANGALURU: Mangaluru city police arrested a gang of four dacoits belonging to the notorious 'chaddi' gang hours after they struck at a house of an elderly couple and decamped with gold ornaments and other valuables on Tuesday.

Police said the gang members gained entry into the house of Victor Mendonca and Patricia Mendonca, a couple located on Kotekani road, at around 1.45 am by cutting open the window grills. They assaulted the couple with rods and screw drivers and took away gold ornaments, wrist watches and a mobile phone worth more than Rs 13 lakh. Around 4.40 am, the gang members vanished in Mendonca's car which was parked in their compound. The car was later found abandoned near Mulki bus stand, which is 25 km away.

Acting swiftly, the cops went through the CCTV footage near Mulki Bus Stand and came to know that the gang had returned to Mangaluru in a KSRTC bus before they took another bus to Bengaluru. After contacting the bus conductor, the Hassan SP was alerted following which a team led by the Sakaleshpur DySP intercepted the bus near Sakaleshpur and arrested all the four accused. Police said the accused confessed to the crime and the booty was recovered from their possession.

The accused were identified as Raju Singwania, 24, Mayur, 30, Baali, 22, and Vicky, 21 – all from Madhya Pradesh. The 'chaddi' gang gets its name from the shorts worn by its members who also go barefoot.

Patricia told reporters that the dacoits smashed their three mobile phones and did not allow them to switch on the lights. Victor, who was attacked with an iron rod, suffered a leg fracture and was admitted to a private hospital. Patricia was assaulted with a screw driver when she raised an alarm.

Sources said the police are trying to find out whether the same gang was involved in a house break-in that took place at Kodikal in the city on June 7. The gang had made away with Rs 10,000 cash from the house of Pradeep.

Meanwhile, Tuesday's dacoity sent shock waves in Mangaluru city in the light of back-to-back house break-ins reported in the city recently. On June 21, a PWD contractor was robbed by a gang of dacoits. Police had arrested 10 people from Kerala and Karnataka in connection with the incident.

Police have appealed to the public to be more alert in the night and immediately dial 112 in case of suspicious movement or sounds. The public have been asked to install CCTVs at their houses, while those who have already installed them were asked to ensure that they are working.

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