MADURAI: Reminiscent of Vadivelu’s reel-life experience, a passenger hired an auto in Kovilpatti, Thoothukudi district, travelled in it to Virudhunagar, Madurai and Melur, and then drove away with the vehicle.
A source in the police said that two days ago, Parthiban, the accused, hired an auto belonging to P Yuvarajan (35) of Kadalaikarar Street in Kovilpatti. Parthiban is said to have boarded the auto at the Kovilpatti bus stop. He apparently told Yuvarajan that he had to go many places to collect a large amounts of money. He also promised that he would pay Yuvarajan for his services after getting his money, to which the latter agreed.
Parthiban reportedly took the auto to Virudhunagar, at a distance of 40 km from Kovilpatti, to meet a few people, and from there the unsuspecting driver took him to Madurai, at a distance of another 40 km. Later, Parthiban asked to be taken to Melur to meet a relative, the source continued.
When they reached an isolated place near Kuthappanpatti village beyond the toll plaza, Parthiban asked Yuvarajan to give him the auto since he wanted to meet a relative residing nearby.
Taken aback, Yuvarajan initially refused to hand over the auto, but when Parthiban promised extra money for this, he is learnt to have relented. Reassuring Yuvarajan that he would be back in ten minutes, Parthiban allegedly drove away in the auto.
When hours passed by and there was no sign of Parthiban, Yuvarajan realised the truth, said the source. He had not only lost his auto, estimated to be worth around `2 lakh, but also a lot of money. He had paid for the petrol and all the meals, the source said.
The Melur police have registered a case under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code (Punishment for Theft). They said they would transfer the case to the Kovilpatti police station, in whose limits the theft happened.