The Rural police on Friday detained five more persons in connection with the burglary of a jewellery shop at Kallara. The criminals also murdered the 60-year-old watchman, Ravi, early on May 6.
The suspects included Kudaloor Kannan, an accused in several robbery cases in South India, and Dilesh Kumar, a local resident who contracted Kannan's gang to loot his neighbourhood jewellery shop.
The police seized the new car the suspects had purchased after selling the loot, mainly gold ornaments weighing 660 gm and Rs.2 lakh in cash.
Two arrested earlier
Earlier, the police had arrested Kannan's accomplices, V. Rajasekharan alias Raja, 25, and P. Palani, 30, both residents of Tamil Nadu. Dilesh Kumar's brother, Sasikumar alias ‘Mathra' Sasi, another suspect, was found dead hanging in a lodge room in Goa a few days after the crime. The police arrested Dilesh's friends, Deepak Raj (Rajiv), 23, of Thatatthumala, and P. Primith, 33, of Pathanamthitta on the charge of aiding the crime.
The police said Sasikumar, Dilesh and Kannan became friends while in prison in Tamil Nadu. They were released last year and the trio planned to loot ‘Jesina Jewellery' prior to Akshaya Tritiya, a day considered as auspicious for buying gold.
Kannan recruited Raja and Palani for the operation, promising them Rs.1 lakh each. The brothers booked them into a lodge at Kilimanoor. They used the services of Deepak Raj and Primith to rent a car for the operation. They also procured a blow torch and oxyacetylene gas cylinder to cut open the safety locker inside the jewellery shop.
Kannan and his gang rehearsed the burglary plan several times at Sasikumar's house and also practised cutting open a steel locker.
The suspects stole an oxyacetylene cylinder from a workshop and deposited it behind the jewellery shop a few days before the crime. The police said the suspects arrived at the spot in a rented car around 1 a.m. and killed Ravi by strangulating him with a rope.
After dumping the guard's body into a nearby community well, Raja and Palani used iron spikes to tunnel into the shop through its rear wall. The duo entered two other adjacent shops and broke into Jesina Jewellery only on their third attempt. The burglars failed to cut open the safety locker, in which around 13 kg of gold was stored.
With dawn fast approaching, the suspects fled with the gold kept on display on the shelves and the currency they found in the shop's cash register.
The intruders poured water all over the scene of crime to erase any chance of fingerprints. The suspects drove to Thrissur and split ways after sharing the loot. Kannan visited his wife and bought his son a new bicycle. Raja and Palani stayed at their homes in Kudaloor.
The police team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police K.E. Baiju got its first lead in the case after analysing the thousands of mobile calls that emanated from and were received by mobile phone towers in the vicinity of the scene of crime during the time of its occurrence.
Undercover work by Mr. Baiju, Circle Inspector V. Suresh Kumar and his team including Christopher Shibu, M. Faisal, C. S. Sreekumar resulted in the detention of the suspects.