Glib-talking 'cops' dupe four in three hours

Divert victims' attention, make away with gold chains

Four incidents of an organised gang diverting citizens’ attention and snatching their gold chains in a span of just three hours in different parts of the City on Thursday have left the City police redfaced.

The crimes, police say, were committed between 11.30 am and 2.30 pm in northern, western and northwestern parts of the City, with four women and a man losing their respective gold jewellery in the process.

The modus operandi in all the incidents was the same — the culprits posed as “policemen”, showed their gullible victims how to “safely keep” the gold chains in their handbags, and then disappeared before their preys could even realise that they had been taken for a ride.

An embarrassed police force has formed a special team to apprehend the culprits.
The first victim was Indumathi, a resident of Swimming Pool Layout, who fell prey to the gang’s hoodwinking tactics, police said.

Two unknown persons came on a motorcycle, stopped Indumathi near Sri Rama Temple, and bluffed her into believing that a murder was committed a stone’s throwaway.
They warned Indumathi against wearing gold ornaments as numerous chain snatchers operated in the neighbourhood.

They then took out a piece of paper and asked her to remove the 70-gm jewellery so that they “safely keep” it in her handbag wrapped in the paper.

An unsuspecting Indumathi gleefully obliged them.

But she got a shocker after reaching home. She found out that the culprits had kept the empty paper in her handbag and ran away with the jewellery.

Indumathi, a schoolteacher at Vyalikaval, was returning home along with her students when the incident occurred around 1.45 pm.

Barely 15 minutes later, Lakshminath, who runs a grocery shop, lost his 40-gm gold chain when he was returning home on 11th Cross in Swimming Pool Layout, police said.
About half an hour later, two unknown men made away with the 110-gm gold chain of Hemavathi on Malleswaram Main Road around 2.30 pm.

Hemavathi and her husband Umashankar were in Malleswaram for shopping As Umashankar was parking the car near a mall, Hemavathi stood on a footpath. The culprits hoodwinked her into parting with the ornament.

Fourth victim

In the fourth incident, the culprits diverted the attention of 60-year-old Shakuntala on Magadi Road around 2.45 pm. She was on her way to visit a relative when the culprits struck.

Three of them spoke in Hindi and another conversed in Kannada, she told the police.

‘Iranian gangs behind it’

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Pronab Mohanty suspects that Iranian gangs are behind these crimes.

“A professional gang is involved. A few Iranian groups are active in some parts of north Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra,” he said.

“They strike once a month, pose as policemen, divert the attention of victims and decamp with the valuables. We suspect they commit five to six such crimes within a few hours. We have formed a special team to apprehend them. We will catch them soon,” he added.

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