300 sovereigns of gold, Rs.1.5 lakh stolen

More than three months after the break-in at the Pangode Residential Cooperative Society, in which 300 sovereigns of gold and Rs.1.5 lakh were stolen, the city police on Thursday nabbed Shaiju, allegedly the kingpin of the inter-State gang involved in the burglary.

Shaiju, 29, the third accused in the case, was arrested from a house at the Laksham Veedu colony at Thenmala near here which he had taken on rent. About 10 sovereigns of gold was found buried at a spot near the house. The arrest was made by a police team led by Assistant Commissioner, Crime Detachment, K.E. Baiju on the basis of a tip-off received by City Police Commissioner P. Vijayan.

Though the first accused in the burglary, Aji, is still at large, the police have already arrested other gang members Reji, Chandu, Renjith, and Renju. Already about 105 sovereigns of gold and about Rs.6 lakh have been recovered from the gang members.

According to the police, it was Shaiju who planned the break-in which was committed on October 22, 2012. The police investigation revealed that Shaiju had hired a car and spent days reconnoitring different banks in the city before zeroing in on the cooperative society at Edappazhanji. He also rented the house at Thenmala which the gang used as its base.

The team visited the society building many times — often during daytime to know the location of the lockers — and sometimes during night. During one such night visit the team noticed that there was a dog in the house near the society building. Two days prior to the burglary, the team fed the dog poisoned meat to neutralise its threat.

The day before the break-in, the team stole a gas cylinder from a workshop near the Vijayamohini Mills at Poojappura. Within two days of the incident the gang members split the loot and went their separate ways.

The police team that went to arrest Shaiju also found the car used by the gang, the gas cylinder, and the tools they used for the break-in. The police have also received leads on other break-ins committed by this gang and the gang’s plans for even bigger loots.