The stolen prabhavalayam was made of bronze and was worth about Rs. 25,000, police said. Nothing else was reported stolen from the temple.

A portion of the Siva idol at the Thirunettoor Mahadeva Temple near Maradu was reported stolen on Thursday morning.

Temple priests opened the temple around 4.50 a.m. to find the prabhavalayam, an arch-shaped structure surrounding the idol, missing. The stolen portion was made of bronze and was worth about Rs. 25,000, police said. Nothing else was reported stolen from the temple.

Police found a ladder kept near the temple well propped up against the wall of the temple.

They suspect the thief may have used the ladder to get into the temple and then broke open the door to the sanctum sanctorum.

“The temple was closed the night before and a person arrives at 4.30 a.m. to blow a conch shell. We suspect that the thief may have been surprised by the sound of the conch shell and left with just the prabhavalayam,” said a police officer.

Fingerprint experts and the dog squad also visited the premises for a probe. Early morning rainfall made it difficult for the police to collect evidence.

Police suspect that the thief may have used a sort of chisel to break off the bronze structure.

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