Three major crime cases, classified as grave in nature, were reported in the city and rural areas in October. The incidents took place in quick succession — within 10 days. But nearly one month after the first case was reported, the police are still struggling to solve them.
A foodgrain merchant, Y. Sathyamoorthy, was dispossessed of Rs.15 lakh, on Kamarajar Salai on October 18. The youth, who was returning home on a two-wheeler with the money collected from traders in Kanyakumari district, was intercepted by four persons in an SUV in the early hours. Three youths jumped from the vehicle. While one tried to pull him away from his bike into the vehicle, the other snatched the cash bag kept inside the fuel tank pouch after pushing him down.
In the second case, a masked man robbed Rs.10.60 lakh from a Corporation Bank branch on the Mahatma Gandhi Nagar Main Road, when six employees were inside, on October 21. Taking a woman employee as hostage at knifepoint, he forced the bank officials to fill his bag with currencies and walked away during busy hours.
The third case was reported near the Teppakulam police station. Burglars entered the house of a doctor-couple by breaking open a ventilation shaft and took away with 80 sovereigns of gold jewels and over four kg of silverware.
The city police were able to nab some of the accused in the first case of robbery of the trader. After interrogating the suspects and going through a heap of mobile phone call records, the police zeroed in on four persons. A special team was able to recover a small portion of the money.
Even as the police were elated over the cracking of the case within a week, they were jolted by the custodial death of one of the suspects, A. Seeni. This led not only to the suspension of two police officials, but also to a slump in the progress of the case.
However, in the third case, the police are still groping in the dark. Except for having lifted fingerprints from the scene of crime – one of them believed to be that of a minor – the police do not have any concrete clue, the police said. “The suicide of the suspect in our custody and the subsequent suspension of officers have rattled us. The bandobust duty for Thevar guru puja and Deepavali took our attention away from the case. We will trace the remaining accused soon,” a police officer said. However, the police were still clueless about the burglary at the doctor-couple’s house, he added. The district police said that four teams were working on the bank robbery. However, no breakthrough has been made so far, an officer said.
The value of the property lost in these three cases alone exceeds Rs.35 lakh.