Bicycle thief targets Avantika again, police recover ‘booty’ in no time

The bicycle was stolen early on Friday from the porch of a multi-storey building in Palarivattom where the family lives.
Sivankutty gifts Avantika C J a new bicycle
Sivankutty gifts Avantika C J a new bicyclePhoto | SANESH SAKA

KOCHI: Kochi girl Avantika C J’s joy knew no bounds when she got back her beautiful pink bicycle on Saturday evening, a day after a drunk thief made away with the ‘precious gift.’ She is thankful to cops and local residents for their all-out effort which made it possible to nab the thief within hours and recover the bicycle that was gifted to her by General Education Minister V Sivankutty earlier this month.

Sivankutty gifts Avantika C J a new bicycle
Teen's joy turns to sorrow as thieves steal minister-gifted bicycle again

The bicycle was stolen early on Friday from the porch of a multi-storey building in Palarivattom where the family lives. The thief Shaji, 56, a scrap picker hailing from Thaiparambil, Alappuzha, landed in the police net on Saturday morning.

During interrogation, the accused told cops that he had no idea how ‘precious’ the cycle was. “He used to make a living by picking up scrap in the Palarivattom area and selling the same to scrap dealer shops. He told us he stole the cycle at 4.30am on Friday while passing through the area in an inebriated condition. He had sold the same to a Fort Kochi native for around Rs 1,500,” a police officer said. The new bicycle costs around Rs 7,000.

Sivankutty gifts Avantika C J a new bicycle
Kerala education minister Sivankutty gifts teen bicycle to replace stolen one

Earlier, Avantika was shocked when she learnt that her bicycle was yet again stolen. The new pink Pop Star Florene model bicycle was gifted to her by Minister Sivankutty during the eve of Praveshanotsavam 2024. This after she sent an e-mail to the minister complaining about the theft of her first bicycle. When the thief struck again, she was shocked but was determined to get it back. She, along with her father Gireesh Madhavan, filed a complaint with the Palarivattom police station. Meanwhile, the thief’s images were caught on the CCTV of a nearby house.

“The family handed us the CCTV image. We succeeded in identifying the person and nabbed him with the help of certain local natives. He had sold the bicycle to a Fort Kochi native. We informed the latter and he brought the cycle to the Palarivattom station. The same was handed over to the girl by Saturday evening,” the officer said.

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