Prakash alias Ravikumar alias Ravi alias Babu, who is giving sleepless nights to the police as a serial kidnapper of minor girls and robbing them of their gold, was in fact arrested by City Market police in June this year.

But the negligent police had booked him for just theft, remanding him in judicial custody without checking his criminal background. He came out on bail within five days to continue his nefarious activities.

Had they checked his antecedents, not only would they have stopped his bail but also prevented subsequent kidnapping cases, said a police officer. Babu (35), who had kidnapped a 16-year-old girl from Mahadevapura in July 14, took her to Bagepalli to rob her but the teen was rescued by suspicious locals.

He, however, gave them the slip.

The City Market police had packed him off the jail on June 30 after he was caught trying to sell gold. The police had recovered 84 grams of jewellery and a motorbike from him.

Rescued

He immediately targeted a nine-year-old girl in Banasawadi, luring her with a sari for her mother, and took her to Andhra Pradesh. This child was also rescued by passersby and was reunited with her family.

Babu’s routine was to target children wearing jewellery, befriend them, abduct them on the pretext of buying them gifts and rob them. However, he was good enough to drop them back near their homes.

He had kidnapped a six-year-old girl from Channakeshavanagar in Parappana Agrahara a few months ago when she was returning home after buying eggs from a nearby shop. He convinced her he was a relative and pretended to speak to her mother on the phone.

The child spent the entire day with him and Babu dropped her on Hosur Road the following day, apparently unharmed even though there was nothing to steal from her.

Another case

In another case in the same police station limits he had kidnapped a girl aged around 12 years and stole ear-ring and other valuables, police said.

It was after Home Minister’s intervention the city police launched a manhunt for him. They are still looking

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