CHENNAI: In a shocking turn of events, the Kancheepuram police have arrested two police constables and detained a few history-sheeters in connection with a robbery that took place 15 days ago. The gang had attacked a jeweller from Tiruvallur in Sriperumbudur and escaped with 300 sovereigns of gold jewels on December 10.
Of the accused, two are Grade-II constables from the 2017 batch and another was waiting for a sub-inspector posting, said the police. The constables developed contacts with the history-sheeters while escorting them to the prison and once they were out hatched a plan, said the police.
According to the police, Mahendran, a businessman from Tiruvallur, runs a jewellery shop where he turns gold bars into jewels and distributes them to small jewellery shops in Sunguvarchatram, Sriperumbudur and Thandalam in Kancheepuram district.
“On December 10, Mahendran along with his staff Asif and Raj Kumar were traveling in an autorickshaw from Tiruvallur to Kancheepuram district to distribute the jewels. At around 7 pm, when the vehicle was coming near Mambakkam in Sriperumbudur, a seven-member gang on three motorbikes blocked the autorickshaw,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Sriperumbudur, K Karthikeyan.
The gang held the commuters at knifepoint and escaped with 300 sovereigns of gold jewels. The incident happened 40 kilometres from the city. The next day Mahendran lodged a complaint at the Sriperumbudur police station after which three special teams were formed and the police combed through CCTV footage.
DSP Karthikeyan said seven people including two constables were involved in the dacoity at the spot and four more were involved behind the scenes. While five men were nabbed, a search is on for the others.
The constables were identified as Thamizharasan posted at Manampathy police station and Kathir posted at Thirukazhukundram police station. The duo were natives of Kancheepuram, said the police.
“Both were Grade-II constables who joined the force in 2017. The duo had come in contact with Ranjith and a few other accused while escorting them to the prison and court last year. We suspect that the constables were in constant touch with the serial offenders once they got out of prison,” said DSP Karthikeyan.
Meanwhile, the police from other districts were notified and a constant watch was kept on pawnbrokers and other jewellery shops to see if anyone was selling a huge amount of gold jewels. Police said that the accused lay low for at least four days and two men with the help of agents from Coimbatore had sold 600 grams (approximately 73 sovereigns) of gold to a pawnbroker in Kumbakonam. The local police nabbed the men and handed them over to the Sriperumbudur police.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior police officer said that the agents pointed the finger at Ranjith from Red Hills who has served a sentence in prison for snatching and theft cases. Based on his inputs, the police detained Saravanan.
“Saravanan was working in a jewellery shop in Kancheepuram where Mahendran was scheduled to deliver the jewels. Knowing the route and timings of the delivery, Saravanan had informed Ranjith and the gang who stole the jewels,” said the police officer.
The constables’ friend Marimuthu from Vyasarpadi had completed his written and fitness exam for a sub-inspector post and was scheduled to undergo an interview next month. Marimuthu was also involved in the dacoity and arrested.
The police until Thursday have seized 350 grams (approximately 41 sovereigns) of gold and Rs 8 lakh in cash from the accused who were nabbed so far. A decision will be taken later on whether the two constables should be suspended or dismissed, said the police.