IDUKKI (KERALA): Apparently more women are trying their hand at theft as evident from cases reported from various parts of Tamil Nadu. A common factor that connects them is the involvement of women belonging to Avarampetti, a ‘thiruttu’ gramam (village of thieves), in the state.
Avarampetti is a ‘village of women thieves’ unlike other such supposedly ‘criminal’ villages where men rule the roost. Here, men have a role of mere assistants of the women thieves. Malar (38), who was arrested from Thrissur last week by the Adimali Police for a jewellery theft, also hails from Avarampetti. Her associates in the one-year-old case—Pappammal (45) and Chithra (35)—from the village are still at large.
According to the police, the three women stole as many as nine gold bangles weighing 116 gm each from Sangeetha Jewellery in Adimali on June 14 last year. They managed to steal the bangles after diverting the attention of the salesman. However, the trio were caught in the CCTV camera. The police suspect the involvement of the same gang in the jewellery theft in Rajakkad reported some time back.
The modus operandi of these women gangs is to enter crowded jewellery shops, shopping malls or textile shops wearing costly attire and ornaments showing off their wealth so that no one doubts them. The next ‘operation’ would be at a location far away from previous target. They generally opt rainy season for their operations mainly in Idukki, Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Ernakulam and Palakkad districts in Kerala.
In a recent incident, a Tamil woman was booked for pick-pocketing in a bus from Thodupuzha. When she was presented before the court, a team from the neighbouring state was already present there to take her on bail. “They are all well-equipped and have a wide network. Even if we arrest them, there are people to take them on bail,” says Idukki Special Branch DSP Saji V N.