Two K.G. Halli police constables went undercover, posing as beggars, to catch a motorcycle thief who used to take away vehicles parked outside mosques, especially during Friday prayers.
Constables Srinivas Murthy and Siraj Pasha sat outside the mosques in disguise, begging for alms and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity, even as the rest of the team in plainclothes kept watch nearby.
They not only faced the hostility of the beggars who usually occupied the spot, but also the considerable challenge of policing the 34 mosques in the area.
“While the police waited for the suspect in one mosque, the accused used to steal bikes from others,” assistant sub-inspector of police Gurumurthy, who led the operation, said.
So, finally, two policemen in uniform were posted at all mosques in the area, except at the Munawwar mosque, where only the undercover Mr. Pasha and Mr. Murthy were deputed. The plan worked as the accused was drawn to Munawwar mosque, and was caught red-handed trying to steal a motorcycle with a master key.
He has been identified as Sajid Pasha (23) from Chintamani. He is believed to be involved in over eight motorcycle theft cases in K.G. Halli. He reportedly confessed to have stolen vehicles from Bangalore and Chintamani with a similar modus operandi. The police have recovered 18 motorcycles, which he had sold to an associate.
Rags to riches
The undercover policemen said they earned around Rs. 160 a day in alms during their investigation. This they have distributed among the beggars outside the mosques.