30-member gang of women from Andhra Pradesh has entered city, say police

With the festive season approaching, a gang of thieves comprising 30 women, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, who loot passengers travelling in trains have entered the city, say Government Railway Police (GRP) officers.

A total of three lakh passengers use the 254 EMU services between Chennai Beach Station and Kancheepuram. Commuter rush is heavy, especially between Mambalam and Tambaram, due to the presence of a large number of factories and many of the passengers are women.

The gang, whose members are mainly from places such as Tirupati, Guntur and other parts of Andhra Pradesh, target passengers who are about to alight from the train. They divert their attention by blocking the exit of the train using bags. While the commuter struggles to get down, they cut their bags and steal the valuables.

A group of five women employed this method to steal 25 sovereigns from a passenger named Vetriselvi who was about to alight at Park Station last Saturday. She registered a case with the Egmore GRP station. “The thieves are well-dressed and will easily mingle with the passengers,” said V. Ponramu, Deputy Superintendent of Police, GRP, Egmore.

To create awareness among passengers, the police have created a small album containing the photos of the thieves and have been showing it to commuters in ladies compartments and in railway stations.

“We will be collecting the email address of regular women passengers and the photos will be mailed to them. We will also provide them small albums containing the pictures of the suspects,” he added.

Special teams comprising women police personnel in plain clothes will be travelling in trains posing as passengers to nab the gang. “They will travel in the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) trains too,” said Mr. Ponramu.

Passengers in trouble can contact the GRP helpline – 9962500500

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