The mounted police unit will roam subways, small streets in the dead of the night to keep burglars at bay

Nights in the city will not be the same anymore, at least for burglars looking for an easy getaway. If it were the regular night patrols of the city police that they had to tackle all these days, now they will have to keep out of the sight of the City Mounted Police as well, that is, if they do not want policemen on horses galloping after them in the dead of the night.

The ‘clip clop clip clop’ of hooves on the road has been revived by City Police Commissioner H. Venkatesh, with mounted horse patrols to make rounds of selected areas in the city twice or thrice a week. Rainy nights will of course, be an exception. “We are looking at mainly patrolling subways and small lanes, with the objective of theft prevention and boosting the confidence of the public. Policemen on horses trotting around in the night will have a different impact, both on the public and on thieves as well,” he says.

Mr. Venkatesh, himself a horse-riding enthusiast right from his college days, will also ride through the city on a horse once in a while. Patrolling, for that matter, has been boosted over the last one week, with policemen from various wings being roped in to strengthen the conventional bike patrol teams after a spate of burglaries in and around the city.

An international airport would usually be the last place the police would be looking for burglars who decamp with cash and gold. But for the Attingal police, a tip-off last week proved to be the start of quite a few startling discoveries.

It started with the arrest of a burglar in faraway Malappuram, from whom the police got pointers to a bigger gang that operated across several States including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa.

The investigation that followed took the police to four men, whose arrest led to the rest of the discoveries. The gang, they came to know, was behind nearly 150 cases registered across four States, with the burglaries in their names worth about Rs.30 lakh and over 100 sovereigns of gold.

That was not all. The gang-leader, Noushad, had 15 air tickets of recent flights on him. Interrogation revealed that he used to mastermind the burglaries and leave the spot on the next flight. To another city, where the next burglary would be planned and then, again, on another flight to another city. His family was told that he was in the Gulf, a lie bolstered with the sight of him reaching home from the airport with a load of goodies. The Karnataka police will reach here this week to return with the gang, now in judicial custody here, after questioning and evidence collection by the Kerala police.