Poverty and the desire to start his own small enterprise led a 16-year-old school dropout to rob cash from his employer's office and a sports utility vehicle belonging to his employer's friend's brother.
The boy, a native of Thaadampatti village in Ariyalur District had dropped out of a government school in T.Pallur village, a few kilometers away from his home while he was in class IX, and left home to come to Nanganallur three months ago to try his luck in earning some money. He managed get a job as a cleaner of a van owned by Raji of Keelkattalai. The van would pick up children living in areas around Keelkattalai and Madipakkam and drop them at a school in Velachery.
Raji would usually park his van near the office of the travel agency of his friend Elumalai on Big Street, Keelkattalai, opposite Madipakkam police station. Some drivers also used to sleep inside the office. Early on Monday, around 2 a.m, the boy entered the office and noticed the cash box open. The keys of an SUV, Mahindra Bolero, belonging to Prakash, younger brother of Elumalai, were also placed on the table. The boy took Rs. 1.18 lakh cash kept in the draw and drove away in the Bolero. Moments later, one of the crew heard the noise of the vehicle and informed Prakash, who in turn alerted the police control room. A police team conducting a vehicle check-up near St. Thomas Mount police station, intercepted the Bolero, recovered the cash and caught the boy. The boy had planned to park the vehicle at Koyambedu, go home and open a petty shop. He was taken to the Government Observation Home for Boys in Kellys.