A gang that conned many cab owners in city by offering them lucrative rentals and then fleeing with their vehicles has been busted. One member of the group, which stole nearly 40 vehicles across the State, has been arrested and a hunt is on for the rest of the suspects.
Police said the four-member gang opened an agency in Senthil Nagar, Kolathur two months ago and placed an advertisement in a well-known Tamil daily seeking the services of car owners who were willing to rent out their vehicles. Many persons from Chennai and other parts of the State responded to the ad and handed over the cars along with photostat copies of vehicle registration certificates.
“The culprits, who identified themselves as Manoharan, Krishnan, Rajesh and Dayalan, all from Chennai, promised huge rents for the cars to the owners and asked them to collect the money after two weeks. In addition to many Tata Indica vehicles, a few owners even supplied them with hi-end sedans,” said an investigating officer.
Later, when the car owners contacted the mobile numbers given by the gang, they found the phones to be switched off. The office in Senthil Nagar was also discovered to be closed.
Meanwhile, the gang fled the city after selling over 35 cars they had stolen. Most buyers were given the photostat RC copy along with the car and the culprits pocketed lakhs of rupees after promising to handover the original RC within a few days.
Some of the owners spotted their cars running in the city and intercepted them resulting in much confusion, the officer added.
Following a complaint lodged by one of the victims with the Rajamangalam police, a team probed the matter and arrested Manoharan (35), a resident of New Perungalathur, on October 22. Three cars were seized from him. He was later taken to police custody and following interrogation, he helped the police to recover two more vehicles.
A further probe led to the police recovering 20 cars from those who had bought it from the gang. A search is on for rest of the gang members and cars, police sources added.