The Tiruporur police has recovered four 11th century idols that were stolen from a ‘bhajanai madham’ in Siruthavur on July 15. Eight were arrested.

A close watch on those who had been involved in such cases before helped crack the case, said Superintendent of Police, Kancheepuram Police District, C. Vijaya Kumar.

The four idols belonging to the Bhoothagireeswarar temple had been kept in the ‘bhajanai madham’ owing to the ongoing renovation of the shrine. A special team, which was formed to investigate the case, took the assistance of the idol theft wing of the State police.

Police found that a man involved in the smuggling of antiques had frequented the house of Karthik, a resident of Tiruporur, in the days preceding the theft. On interrogation, Karthik confessed to the crime and said his friend Venkatesan, an expert in handling locks, and six others helped in stealing the idols. Three of the stolen idols were dumped in an abandoned well near the Kandasamy temple and the fourth at the nearby Tamaraikulam.

The idols were to be sold through a private art galley in Kancheepuram district which attracts a large number of foreign tourists, Mr. Vijaya Kumar said.