Police arrested an eight-member gang comprising a couple of engineering students who were allegedly involved in theft of vehicles and produced them in front of the media here on Wednesday. They also recovered the stolen vehicles including three cars and two motorcycles worth Rs. 7.3 lakhs from the offenders.
According to Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) V. Gita Devi the gang had been operating in the city for the last five months.
The arrested persons were Intermediate student Ch. Anurag (19) of Labbipet, engineering student K. Balakiran (20) of Adarsh Nagar, Kavuri Balu (24) of Labbipet, car travels owner P. Siddhartha (24) of Jayprakash Nagar, Donepudi Uday (19) of Peda Pulipakka, auto driver Sk Akbar (20) of Peda Pulipakka, engineering student Jasti Vineet (19) of Ayyappa Nagar and car mechanic L. Raju (30) of Ibrahimpatnam.
According to Central Zone Assistant Commissioner of Police D.V. Nageswara Rao all the accused, given to bad habits, took to crime to fund their indulgences.
Explaining the modus operandi, Machavaram Inspector Gopalkrishna said that Anurag and Balakiran would observe for gullible car or motorbike drivers who would leave their keys in the vehicle in haste, and taking advantage of that the duo would escape with the vehicle. They would later hand over the stolen vehicles to the other members of the gang to make the alterations and sell them.
They lifted a Maruti Swift on June 6 near Siddhartha Public School, another Swift on July 16 from Adarsh Nagar, a Hyundai Verna on October 1 from LIC Colony, a Honda Activa on June 21 from Road Number 5 and another Activa on October 3 from Bandar Road. They also stole a laptop from a shop located under Krishnalanka police station.
The police recovered all the vehicles that they had stolen. The accused were sent in remand.