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Updated: October 4, 2012 09:43 IST

US$ 35,000 stolen in Secunderabad, victim’s attention diverted

Staff Reporter
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The Hindu

The tricksters used a different ploy to divert the attention by informing the victim about an insect on the collar

Two motorcyclists snatched a bag containing 35,000 American dollars from a travel company employee by diverting his attention on Raj Bhavan on Wednesday. The victim, K. Sravan Kumar (29) felt extremely itchy on his neck and stopped his motorcycle to check what was wrong.

As he removed his helmet, two persons on a motorcycle stopped by his side and warned him about an insect on his collar indicating that it could have led to itching. As Sravan Kumar turned to check after keeping the bag containing the dollars on the fuel tank of his bike, the duo snatched the bag and sped away. Sravan was so shocked that he could not even note down the registration number of the motorcycle. He could not even give a proper description of the duo to the police.

Sravan Kumar works in Mercury Travels in Secunderabad. He had withdrawn the foreign currency worth nearly Rs. 18 lakh from Stanchart bank and was on his way to his office. He took ‘U’ turn near the MMTS station and took the road towards Begumpet and pulled over as the inflammation became unbearable.

“I was too shocked to chase them and failed to note down the bike number. They melted into the vehicular traffic in a jiffy,” a shaken Kumar recounted to the police.

This is yet another case of theft by diverting attention of gullible people in the city. The usual modus operandi is to throw currency notes on the road and draw attention of the victim to the notes. These notes on the ground turned out to be a perfect bait in a majority of cases. In some cases, night soil is smeared on the garments of the victims and then informed. As victims take their shirts off to wash, bags are snatched. However, this time the tricksters used a different ploy to divert the attention by informing the victim about an insect on the collar.

Interestingly, the tricksters left the bag in a city bus later. The conductor of the bus plying on route no 83 called up Sravan Kumar after he found an identity card inside the bag. The tricksters have collected the foreign currency and left the bag in the bus. Apparently, they got into the bus after speeding away on the motorcycle.

Video footage

Police believe that the tricksters could have sprinkled some chemical on Sravan’s neck to make him feel itchy.

“Or perhaps, they used a chemical spray,” Panjagutta police said. The police are also not sure whether he was followed, or whether the snatchers noticed him withdrawing dollars in the bank and decided to strike. Police began analysing the video footage of the bank surveillance cameras to determine whether anyone was moving in suspicious circimstances.

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