Four members, one of them known to the victim, arrested; dagger, air pistol, and jewellery recovered .They gained entry into the house on the pretext of distributing wedding cards

With the arrest of a four-member gang, the Patamata police have solved the mystery behind the sensational daylight robbery that was committed at knife and gunpoint on August 22 at an apartment complex — Venkat Enclave — in Patamata.

Producing the accused before the media here on Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner of Police M. Ravi Prakash said all the members of the gang were from Guntur district. They were identified as Vennam Praveen Kumar (24) a native of Batiprolu village, Bundreddi Durga Pavan (24) of Kanagala village, Sheikh Zia-ul- Haq (25) of Kanagala village, and Saina Srinivasa Rao (26) of Bhondala village.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Central Zone) D.V. Nagewara Rao, who headed the investigating team, said the robbery was the brainchild of Praveen. He was related to the victim Srihari Rao.

Giving details, the DCP said Praveen, who did ITI, was earlier employed by his uncle Srihari at a crusher unit located in Nagayalanka. Praveen was in need of fast money as he had fallen to vices. He was sacked for misappropriating some cash from his uncle’s firm. Thereafter, to meet his requirements, he teamed up with the other members. Out of them, Sheikh Zia was the only one who had past crime record.

He was involved in a robbery case at Sileru in Visakhapatnam district that was committed in January this year.

According to the police, they hatched a plan to commit robbery at his uncle’s house.

On August 22, Praveen sent two of his team members — Zia and Pavan — to the apartment when his uncle was away from home under the pretext of distributing wedding cards while he and Srinivas Rao waited in a car outside. They even printed a few false wedding cards.

“Since they had come to distribute wedding cards, the watchman allowed them. They even convinced Praveen’s aunty that they had come from the Nagayalanka crusher unit. Once she let them in, they relieved her of the jewellery worth Rs.1 lakh at knife and gunpoint. They even tried to break open the cupboard by tying the woman with packing tapes. But finding nothing in the cupboard, they left,” said the DCP.

A six-inch-long dagger, an air pistol, and jewellery were recovered from the accused.

“As all criminals leave some clue, they too left some hints like usage of a few common words such as ‘crusher unit’ and ‘Nagayalanka’,” said Mr. Ravi Prakash.

It was evident that someone known to the family committed the crime. The investigating team collected some details and focused on the victim’s friends and relatives, and stumbled upon Praveen.

On questioning, he revealed everything and the gang was arrested. In the meanwhile, they also tried to commit a robbery in Guntur but failed, said the DCP.

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