A gang of robbers from the Pardi tribe hailing from Central India are said to be behind the robbery at a house in Bharati Nagar, Old Perungalathur, in November.
A suburban police team investigating the case detained a member of the gang who had committed dacoity in Kerala, Karnataka and parts of north India. Twenty-five sovereigns of the stolen jewellery have been recovered, based on his information, from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Rest of the seven members of the gang who have been identified are on the run.
Chennai Suburban Commissioner of Police S. R. Jangid said the inter-State gang of robbers are as notorious as the Bawaria gang whose members were eliminated by the Tamil Nadu police in 2005. “It is always a Herculean task to pursue an inter-State gang but our team managed to apprehend one accused, Vikas Godaji Chavan (24), from Srirampur in Maharashtra within a few months of the robbery,” he said.B. Sagadevan, Inspector of Police, Peerkankaranai, who is heading the special team, said the Pardi gang, led by Vijay Gopinath alias Chailya (45), had struck at the house in Bharati Nagar and decamped with 40 sovereigns of ornaments and four lakh in cash. Chailya’s accomplices Vikas, Somnath Pimley (35), Baba Shahib Shankar Pimley alias Badka (58), Hanuman (37), Arun Chavan (34), Ramdas (27) and Shakal (36) gagged the victim Gracy Mathew (54) and fled in her car after the robbery.
They had abandoned the car in Vadapalani.
“We tracked the accused to Thiruvananthapuram after finding a label in the lungi which was used to tie-up the victim and glove used by one of the culprits. We lifted finger prints of Chailya from an abandoned hacksaw blade used to cut an iron grill. The print tallied after we matched it with data from a case of robbery in Neelankarai in 2004,” Mr.Sagadevan added.
The Pardi gang had come to Chennai after committing robberies in Bangalore, Calicut and Thiruvananathapuram. The breakthrough in the case came after the gang members abandoned a stolen car in Thiruvananathapuram after offering prayers at a temple there. “The gang’s practice is to offer prayers after every robbery at the Padmanabhapuram temple. We recovered a pooja ticket from the car which had their original address and a receipt from a jewellery store where they sold some jewellery. We also obtained CCTV images of the accused which was recorded at the store,” Sagadevan said.
The police team, later, caught Vikas and search for the rest of the gang members was carried out in parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.