Police arrest gang that pilfered 17 city temples

The accused have been identified as Kumar alias Baajaka (23), Manja alias Sangappa (24), Krishna (40) and Vijaya Kumar (21), all natives of Mysuru city.

The city police caught a gang of four who went about robbing 17 temples, most of them in and around the city, in the past two months.

The arrested have been identified as Kumar alias Baajaka (23), Manja alias Sangappa (24), Krishna (40) and Vijaya Kumar (21), all natives of Mysuru city.

The police said the four accused wandered about, pitched tents in the city outskirts and made a living doing petty businesses like selling soft toys and sweets, besides repairing stoves.

They seized 55 gm of gold, 1.350 kg of silver and Rs 75,000 in cash and other items from the accused.

The men would ride around on their bikes surveying temples in the morning on the pretext of offering prayers, while actually making note of the hundis and golden ornaments on the deities. On fixing their target, they would return to rob the temple, the police said.

They had broken open hundis and temple locks and fled with the cash. In two months, the gang robbed 17 temples, prompting the police to form a special team to go after them.

The police stumbled upon three temple theft cases at Mico Layout; four at Electronics City; two each in Bommanahalli and KS Layout; and one each in Tilak Nagar, Jayanagar, JP Nagar and Subramanyapura. The accused have also robbed temples on the outskirts of the city in Tumakuru and Sarjapura.

The police pieced together clues obtained from analysing CCTV footage from a few temples to determine the gang’s modus operandi. The Mico Layout police stumbled on the men recently while patrolling the area as they tried breaking into a temple. The four had confessed to the crime during interrogation, the police said.

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Police arrest gang that pilfered 17 city temples

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