In the past nine months, he has taken LPG cylinders, clothes, other household items

A thief, operating naked, has created a stir on Parthasarathy Garden Street and adjoining TTK Road in Alwarpet for over nine months now.

The man stole LPG cylinders, clothes, kitchen and other household items from houses in the area. The streets where the thief had allegedly struck are less than a kilometre away from the residence of the State Chief Minister.

According to residents, the man had commonly targeted cylinders and other items placed in residential compounds. The thefts had become a regular menace after police security was pulled out in mid-August last year, after the Sri Lankan deputy high commission was shifted from TTK Road to Nungambakkam. “Since last September, some of us occasionally lodged complaints at the Teynampet police station, but the thefts did not stop,” said a resident of Parthasarathy Garden Street.

In a desperate attempt to thwart the thefts, some residents finally decided to install CCTV cameras. They were shocked to see recorded footage showing a naked man with his face covered with a white towel stealing from a house.

A series of clips obtained from the cameras clearly show a young man, identified by residents as Kumar, who worked as a domestic help in one of the bungalows on TTK Road two years ago. Kumar knew the area quite well and operated mainly between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., residents said.

“During the early hours of Tuesday, the naked thief sexually assaulted domestic help who was sleeping outside due to the sultry weather. She raised an alarm and woke us all up. Meanwhile, he managed to jump outside the compound and is seen strolling through the street with a towel on his shoulder in the latest CCTV footage obtained,” said another resident.

Complaints on the rape attempt and continuous occurrence of thefts have been lodged by the victim and a resident respectively with the Teynampet police. Police sources said an investigation team visited the houses where the offences took place and collected clues. Further probe is under way to apprehend the culprit, the sources said.

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