COIMBATORE: A special team of Coimbatore city police on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old youth who was part of a Maharashtra-based gang that was involved in many chain-snatching incidents in Coimbatore and Dharmapuri.
The suspect was identified as S Usaini Ali Sheik of Ganga Nagar in Guntakal in Andhra Pradesh. He is part of a gang comprising Y Malang Yasar Jaffery (23) of Bhiwandi, Prathmesh alias Billai Prakash (22) Damco of Thane and C Sameer alias Chikku (23) of Bhopal. With Usaini having been secured, police initiated the process to arrest the others.
“Usaini Sheik met with an accident at Saravanampatti when he tried to escape from us and suffered fractures on his right hand and leg. He was admitted ubin Coimbatore Medical College Hospital,” said G Chandeesh, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Coimbatore North).
In the early hours of August 25, a gang snatched chains from three women in Racecourse and Rathinapuri respectively. As the incidents happened in quick succession, police suspected the involvement of a single gang and intensified vehicle checks.
“We checked about 200 CCTV footage from the crime scenes and spotted four bike-borne men wearing helmets and masks in all crime scenes. With this single evidence, we checked CCTV footage in the descending order of their presence and found out that they all had travelled to Coimbatore railway station.
We then checked CCTV footage from t the railway station and traced their facial identities,” police said. Chandeesh added that the gang always travelled on the Kurla Express which runs from Mumbai to Coimbatore via Dharmapuri and also covers the native place of the suspects. We suspect the gang might be involved in similar crimes across the country,” he said.
The gang arrived in the city by train, stole bikes and abandoned them after committing the crime. “After arriving in the city, they stole two bikes from near the railway station and purchased new dresses from a store nearby. After committing the crime, they abandoned the bikes, changed their clothes and boarded a train,” Chandeesh explained their modus operandi.
Police confirmed their identities by sharing their photos with their counterparts in neighbouring states. “Though they were from different districts, they used to meet in Bhiwandi where prime suspect Malang Yasar Jaffery operates and shares the loot. They usually travel by train and target vulnerable people during the early morning hours. Hence it was difficult for police to trace them The gang left for Mumbai after committing the crime on August 25. Three days later, the gang went to Dharmapuri where they committed two chain robberies,” police said.