The itching powder gang is back in biz

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The ‘itching powder gang’ has returned but the police are unable to identify its members, who specialise in attention diversion tactics to carry out thefts. 

As people exit from banks and financial firms, the gang members follow them on bikes and when they are close enough, they sprinkle a powder that causes itching. Some of them even alert their victims and when the baffled victims begin scratching their body, the gangsters snatch their valuables and speed away. 

Several thefts have been reported in the past in the city, in Jeevan Bima Nagar, HAL and Wilson Garden police station limits.

While the police claimed that they caught the gang members, the criminals get bail effortlessly and are back on the street to resume the thefts.

A fresh case in Rajagopala Nagar is all the proof the police needed to realise that the gang is back in business.

Shinoj C, an employee of Muthoot Fincorp Limited, withdrew Rs 2.5 lakh from the Corporation Bank branch in Rajagopala Nagar.

Two men seated in the bike approached him and the one on the pillion sprinkled a powder on Shinoj that caused severe itching in his back.

Shinoj placed the bag on his bike’s petrol tank and was about to remove his shirt to see what caused the itching, when an unknown man took the money bag and sped away on his Pulser bike.

Shinoj gave a chase but could not catch up.

Shinoj told the police that the perps were aged between 35 and 40 and they diverted his attention to steal the money.

He also said that the men had followed him and saw him withdraw money.

Elderly people targets

A senior police official said a single gang was behind the incidents. They mostly targeted middle-aged and elderly people.

“We suspect a gang from Andhra that uses a similar modus operandi was involved in the incident,” the official said.

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