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Tamil Nadu couple arrested for stealing 2,000 kg of tomatoes through fake accident

Police said the suspects were friends who committed thefts to make a quick buck.
Last Updated : 23 July 2023, 14:14 IST

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Police have arrested a couple from Tamil Nadu who ganged up with three others to steal 2,000 kg of tomatoes from a farmer by faking a road accident in northern Bengaluru two weeks ago.

On July 8, Mallesha, a tomato farmer from Challakere, Chitradurga, was transporting his produce in a Mahindra Bolero pickup to Kolar via Bengaluru. The vehicle belonged to Shivanna, who drove it at the time of the incident.

As the duo reached Goraguntepalya Junction near Yeshwantpur, a five-member gang travelling in a Mahindra Xylo picked up a fight with them. They claimed that the pickup brushed against one of the mirrors of their SUV.

The gang members got into the pickup and forced Shivanna off. With Mallesha still sitting in the tomato pickup, one of the gang members got behind the wheel and drove along the Outer Ring Road towards K R Puram.

After reaching K R Puram, the gang members dumped Mallesha, did a U-turn and drove to Devanahalli. They sold the tomatoes in Devanahalli for Rs 1.5 lakh at Rs 75 per kg, ditched Mallesha's pickup and scooted off in their SUV.

Based on a complaint from Shivanna, RMC Yard police registered a case under IPC sections related to abduction and robbery. They formed a special team to track down the gang.

On July 21, police traced two suspects — Bhaskaran (28) and his wife Sindhuja (26) — to Vaniyambadi, Tamil Nadu, by scouring footage from hundreds of CCTV cameras along the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. While the police have brought the couple to Bengaluru, they are looking for three other suspects — Rakesh, Mahesh and Kumar.

An officer from the RMC Yard police station said the suspects were friends who committed thefts to make a quick buck. With tomato prices soaring, they decided to target farmers at RMC Yard, near Yeshwantpur. At Goraguntepalya Junction, they saw Mallesha's pickup brimming with tomatoes. They created a situation where Mallesha's vehicle brushed against one of the mirrors of their SUV.

Using the incident as a ruse, they fought with Mallesha and Shivanna. They forced Shivanna off the vehicle and drove it off with Mallesha, according to police.

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Published 23 July 2023, 06:46 IST

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