The city police have solved the theft of the ATM cards belonging to the former athlete Ashwini Nachappa with the arrest of Ravi (44), a native of Mysore, and recovered from him Rs. 2 lakh in cash.

Police Commissioner Raghavendra H. Auradkar returned the recovered cash and ATM cards to Ms Nachappa on Monday.

The accused had stolen three ATM cards from Ms. Nachappa during a sports meet for children with disabilities in Jayanagar on December 3. Since Ms. Nachappa had jotted down her PIN number on the backside of the cards, the accused wasted no time in withdrawing Rs. 2.4 lakh from ATM kiosks in the vicinity. Ms. Nachappa learnt about the loss of her ATM cards when she started getting SMS alerts about cash withdrawals.

The Jayanagar police collected the CCTV camera footage from the ATM kiosks and compared the person in the images with photographs of habitual offenders. Eventually, they narrowed the list of suspects to Ravi and picked him up on Sunday.

The police said that Ravi, who works as ticket collector in a private transport company in Mysore, is deeply in debt. So to repay loans he masquerades as a guest at functions and steals valuables. The police suspect his involvement in over a dozen cases in Girinagar, SJ Park, Malleswaram, Cubbon Park and Jayanagar in addition to Mysore and Nanjangud. He was arrested earlier in connection with different cases. In June this year, he attended a marriage in Poornima Convention hall in Jayanagar and stole Rs. 1.5 lakh in cash given by guests to the bride. With the money stolen from Ms. Nachappa, Ravi placed bets on racing horses in Mysore and lost Rs. 35,000.

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