The city police on Friday said they cracked a series of thefts of cash and gold ornaments from high-end multi-storied apartment complexes in the State with the arrest of a 24-year-old man from a bar hotel in Thrissur.

Circle Inspector, Museum, T. Mohanan Nair identified the suspect as Austin Jose, a resident of Vettilapara, near Athirappilly in Thrissur district. He said Austin was a college drop-out, proficient in English and was familiar with computers and the Internet.

Investigators said Austin entered apartment premises pretending to be a genuine visitor, broke open the locks of un-occupied flats and decamped with cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables. Recently, the owner of a flat near the Chief Minister's residence at Jagathy here had reported a break-in. Among the valuables stolen from the house was an ATM card.

CCTV image

The police zeroed in on the suspect by tracking the use of the card. They also got his image from the closed-circuit television inside an ATM kiosk he had recently visited.

The police said Austin had a different identity on several social networking websites and used his identity to befriend impressionable youngsters. He spent his money staying in posh hotels with friends. The accused was produced before the court and was remanded in judicial custody.