But law finally catches up with the ingenious thief from whom police recover 50 high-end mobiles worth Rs. 5 lakh

Stealing to buy medicines for an ailing mother, a hungry sibling or keep the kitchen hearth burning has been the story of many a film.

This reel life theme of a ‘good-at-heart thief’ is the real life story of Bandi Ramu of Meerpet, a super hero for his family members.

The 26-year-old man has been allegedly picking the pockets of bus passengers to meet educational expenses of his siblings and support his widow sister’s family before he was caught by the police on Monday. Fifty high-end mobile phones worth nearly Rs. 5 lakh were seized from him, Central Crime Station DCP L.K.V. Ranga Rao said at a press conference.

Ramu’s father died 10 years ago and since then the onus of supporting his family comprising a mother, two sisters and a brother, working as mason and part-time driver, was on him.

His elder sister was married and has three children but unfortunately because of her husband’s death, the burden of taking care of her family too fell on him.

In the meantime, his younger brother and sister enrolled for MBA and MBBS a few years ago. Unable to earn money to meet their educational expenses, Ramu started looking out for different means to support his family and it was then he learnt about the craft from his relative G. Rama Krishna, an alleged pocket-picking gang operator.

Krishna’s gang members would get into packed RTC buses and pick passengers’ pockets or handbags. They would hand over the booty to him and get a share of it. “The accused too began to steal wallets from passengers in city buses. He had also targeted women busy shopping on the Sultan Bazar streets,” the DCP said.

130 mobiles stolen

He bought his brother and sister a bike and moped respectively with the stolen money. While his brother completed MBA, sister is in fourth year of medicine.

In the last three years, the accused had stolen over 130 mobile phones from bus passengers and women’s handbags.

The stolen phones were sold to Nadeem of Favourite Mobiles in Jagdish Market in Abids.

On a tip-off, CCS Inspector T.S. Uma Maheswar Rao caught Ramu a week ago. He was lodged in the prison after presenting him before a court. The accused was taken into police custody for further investigation.

Based on his confession, the mobile phones were recovered. Nadeem too was arrested for purchasing the phones despite being aware they were stolen property.

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