A sudden spurt of crimes have hit Kodungaiyur and adjoining areas in North Chennai in the past few months.

The murder of a 32-year-old nurse at her house, theft of panchaloha idols and a stone idol from two temples and a series of burglaries, including the recent case of 150 sovereigns and Rs. 16 lakh stolen from a house in Kodungaiyur, have been the notable incidents.

Notorious for crimes

MKB Nagar, Vyasarpadi and Kodungaiyur and other adjoining areas are notorious for their criminal past with smaller gangs clashing with each other for supremacy.

Stringent police action over the years has changed the law and order scene in the area with gang wars and killings on the decline. However, in the last few months there has been a slight increase in crimes like burglaries, waylaying and chain snatching.

According to police sources, on August 17, burglars struck at a temple in Sri Kalyanapuram, Vyasarpadi and decamped with a panchaloha amman idol.

Idol stolen on Saturday

Another idol, this time of a deity in stone, was stolen from a pavement temple in Sarma Nagar, Vyasarpadi, in the early hours of Saturday, after breaking open an iron grill. Interestingly, the burglars are suspected to have performed a pooja before fleeing with the stone idol.

Apart from the major burglary in Vivekanada Nagar and a few others at locked homes, burglars also targeted a few cellphone shops in Meenambal Salai, MKB Nagar and a TASMAC shop on Erukanchery High Road, Vyasarpadi, sources said.

Lack of breakthroughs

While the cellphone shop burglaries were cracked by police, other cases including the murder of nurse Sumathi (32) who was found dead with her throat slit at her residence in Krishnamoorthy Nagar, Kodungaiyur, is yet to find a breakthrough.

According to some residents of the area, the illegal sale of alcohol after the prescribed time and increase of gambling dens have added to their woes.

“There is less police presence on the streets during the nights in the area. There were two murders of rowdies. A few rowdies in the area regularly collect money from shops. A bakery in New Magazine Puram and a medical shop in Mullai Nagar, Vyasarpadi, were damaged a few months ago after the owners failed to pay,” said a resident.

More In: Chennai