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How a WhatsApp video call led the police to trace habitual offender

Two individuals from Hiriyur in Chitradurga, identified as Ranganath HK and Girish Kumar, were arrested in connection with a robbery case. Their arrest unveiled their involvement in eight additional cases and led to the recovery of 68 mobile phones.
Last Updated 28 February 2024, 02:39 IST

Bengaluru: A complaint registration portal, a database of habitual offenders, and a WhatsApp video call were the key tools the Mahadevapura police used to solve nine mobile robbery cases within their jurisdiction.

Two individuals from Hiriyur in Chitradurga, identified as Ranganath HK and Girish Kumar, were arrested in connection with a robbery case. Their arrest unveiled their involvement in eight additional cases and led to the recovery of 68 mobile phones valued at Rs 20 lakh.

Recently, the Bengaluru city police embarked on a mission to trace habitual offenders and address Long Pending Register (LPR) cases. Ranganath was listed among the offenders identified by the Mahadevapura police.

Meanwhile, the same officers, investigating mobile theft and robbery cases, identified several mobile phones listed on the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) portal that were reactivated in Hiriyur, Chitradurga district.

The CEIR portal maintains a centralized database of missing mobile phones, allowing individuals to report thefts and block the usage of their devices.

During this period, another mobile robbery was reported at the station. This time, the complainant provided significant evidence.

“The complainant was on a Whatsapp video call with his fiance, who was recording the call, when the suspects took away his phone. We obtained the video and examined it,” an investigator from Mahadevapura police station told DH.

With the CEIR portal indicating the reactivation of missing mobile phones in Hiriyur, and after reviewing the list of habitual offenders, investigators suspected Ranganath. The facial structure in the video also bore a vague resemblance to Ranganath, further arousing their suspicions.

A police team was dispatched to Hiriyur, where they apprehended Ranganath. He then led the officers to Kumar.

Kumar is an engineering graduate but owing to less salaries paid to engineers, he turned his interest towards robbery, said a police officer.

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(Published 28 February 2024, 02:39 IST)

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