The thieves left behind a sharp object that the investigators used as the only trace
City police on Thursday arrested a father and son duo who were accused of stealing gold and silver jewelry and cash from Karakachettu Polamamba Temple on March 20.
The defendants were identified as P. Umesh, 43, and P. Dhiraj, 19. Another son of Umesh, aged 16, was also taken into custody by police for his involvement in the crime. All three are from the Chittoor district and are currently residents of Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.
At a press conference here on Thursday, Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha said the police received information on March 21st that unidentified villains had entered the temple and fled with valuables. The defendant also dumped the video memory to clear evidence of the crime. The police formed five teams to investigate the case.
According to the commissioner, while inspecting the site, the CLUES teams collected evidence of footprints, fingerprints, cables and a sharp object that was used to break something during the theft.
“We suspected that the equipment was being bought in town. That’s why we checked in with all hardware stores in town, ”said Manish Kumar.
“On March 22nd, we discovered that a shop in the Poorna market had sold the equipment to the trio. Fortunately, the store had CCTV cameras and we got footage of the trio buying the equipment in the store, ”said the inspector.
“In-store CCTV footage allowed us to correlate with footage from CCTVs installed in various locations around the city, and we could see them get into an auto rickshaw to reach the store. Since the auto rickshaw license plate wasn’t clearly visible, we focused on the driver through a careful physical exam. “
“The auto rickshaw driver, a 60-year-old man, informed us that the defendants got into his vehicle on KGH-Straße. After checking the hotels and lodges nearby, we learned that they were staying at a lodge near Jagadamba Junction. When we checked the lodge register, more evidence was found, ”said the CP.
How the theft was planned
Mr Manish Kumar told reporters that Umesh sells clothes on Kanyakumari Beach while Dhiraj works as a cook in Tirupati. Dhiraj slowly met drug traffickers and planned to smuggle ganja out of Visakhapatnam district. On February 26, 2021, he was arrested by Payakaraopeta police while attempting to smuggle the contraband.
On March 16, Umesh and his younger son came to Visakhapatnam to consult a lawyer in order to release Dhiraj on bail. The duo lived in a lodge near Jagadamba and in the meantime visited the Karakachettu Polamamba Temple. Umesh then conducted a tour of the temple and planned the theft. On March 19, Dhiraj received bail and on March 20, the trio vacated the lodge. That same night, the defendant committed theft in the temple and fled the city.
Upon a clue, the police snatched the defendant from an unknown location. The police took back 248 grams of gold and silver jewelry and some cash from them.
The police also found that the defendant buried the video equipment in an isolated location about 300 to 400 meters from the temple.
“In the course of the investigation, we found that the defendant had committed several thefts in Kanyakumari during the lockdown, but was only caught for the first crime,” he said.