Three people suspected of being involved in temple thefts in three states were arrested by Badvel police on Friday.
N. Adinarayana, 35, N. Janaiah (22) and N. Chinna Venkatesu (27) have been wanted in several cases related to 80 temple thefts in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka over the past five years.
In cases of temple thefts, which have seen an increase in Badvel and the surrounding area in recent weeks, the police found something fishy and checked whether perpetrators were regularly on the prowl. Based on input at the field level, police found the trio suspiciously moving near the Narasimha Swamy Temple in Sagileru and arrested them.
The Modus operandi the accused is said to go through villages as a snake charmer and sell wigs for women. They notice public movements near temples and break into them at night.
Badvel Rural Police said that several cases of the defendants were wanted in all four Rayalaseema districts except the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana and the adjacent districts of Karnataka.
Police captured 7,850 yen in cash, a nose ring worth 2,500 yen, a metal idol of a goddess, and tools used to break into temples.