A gang of car thieves who had allegedly stolen more than 30 vehicles from the city was busted by police recently. The gang's kingpin is known to have gifted a few of the stolen vehicles to three of his girlfriends residing in Nagercoil and other areas.

Sources with the Ayanavaram police said the gang, led by Austin Evan alias Inbaraj alias Balu (34), a native of Nagercoil, along with his accomplices Sekar of Vandalur, Arun of Chengalpattu, Satish of Erode, Mariappan of Tirunelveli and Paulraj of Virudhunagar had been operating in the city since 2011. They stole parked cars, usually in the night.

In Ayanavaram alone, the gang stole six vehicles. The gang also struck in other areas including Anna Nagar, ICF, Tambaram, Seliayur and Maraimalai Nagar in Kancheepuram.

“Austin rented bungalows in Chengalpattu and Nagercoil and parked the stolen cars there. Mariappan arranged fake registration papers for the cars and Paulraj sold the vehicles to persons in various others districts in Tamil Nadu. The gang members would then split the money,” said an investigating officer.

Austin, a bachelor, also gifted stolen luxury sedans to three of his girlfriends in Nagercoil. The cars were later recovered, the officer added.

The gang fell into the police net after Sekar and Arun were arrested in possession of a stolen vehicle. Questioning revealed the involvement of Austin and four others. Austin, Mariappan and Paulraj were arrested in Nagercoil recently, and a few cars were seized from them. A hunt is on for Satish.

Austin and his accomplices, who are now in custody of the Nagercoil police, will be issued with transit warrants and Ayanavaram police are expected to take them into custody shortly, police sources added.

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Petlee PeterJune 28, 2012

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