CHENNAI: A 35-year-old pawnbroker, allegedly involved in accepting stolen chains and mobile phones and three thieves who used to pawn the loot at his shop at Choolai, were arrested by the Otteri police on Friday, exposing the thriving pawnbroker-robbers nexus.
The pawnbroker Vinodh, who does business on Perambur Barracks Road, was caught after one of the three alleged thieves, picked up by the police, said Vinodh has been accepting the loot without any paperwork for a price much lower than the market price.
The lid was blown off the nexus when Venkatesh (20), a resident of Otteri, approached Vinodh with a stolen mobile phone. Vinodh, accepting the mobile phone, told Venkatesh that he could bring stolen jewels to him. Encouraged by this, Venkatesh ganged up with two others and went on a chain-snatching and phone-lifting spree. The two were Mohan aka Mohanraj (19) and Vignesh (19), both from Anna Nagar. They were picked by the special police team.
Police sources said the arrested were involved in a number of chain-snatching cases reported in the city and about 10 sovereigns of gold jewels recovered from them, besides three expensive mobile phones. The trio was remanded in judicial custody. According to a senior police official, the pawnbroker had accepted over seven sovereigns of jewels from the trio. “The police are keen on cracking down on the nexus between the pawnbrokers and thieves,” he said.
“A few more pawnbrokers had been accepting stolen property. We are in the process of identifying them, based on the confessions of the criminals. More arrests are likely,” the official said. Meanwhile, two more suspects Viji alias Geethan and Imran who operate together and indulge in burglaries were arrested in a separate case registered in Pulianthope. Five laptops and five mobile phones were recovered from the duo.