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Updated: June 5, 2013 14:34 IST

Shopkeeper-cum-serial burglar arrested

Petlee Peter
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Mohan stole jewellery and other valuables worth Rs. 1 crore — Photo: M. Srinath
The Hindu Mohan stole jewellery and other valuables worth Rs. 1 crore — Photo: M. Srinath

29-year-old continued spree of crimes over past two years after brief stint in prison

Fancy shop owner by day, burglar by night: Mohan alias Punniyamoorthy (29) from Chitlapakkam is a notorious burglar suspected to have committed more than 70 burglaries in the city and its suburbs.

According to the police, he stole a total of 400 sovereigns of gold jewellery and other valuables worth Rs. 1 crore. On Monday, he was arrested by a Chitlapakkam police team who recovered 180 sovereigns of gold, 750 gm of silver, three cars, three motorcycles, four laptops, two cameras and cash.

According to B. Sagadevan, inspector of police, Chitlapakkam, Mohan had committed a total of 11 burglaries in Selaiyur, Chitlapakkam and Peerkankaranai and one in Gummidipoondi, apart from more than 60 cases registered in other parts of the State.

“His modus operandi is unique. He breaks into a house and flees with the loot on the owner’s car or motorcycle parked outside after pocketing its keys from inside. He drives it to the closer railway station to exchange it with his own motorcycle he had parked there earlier,” Mr. Sagadevan said.

Mohan, who was arrested for burglaries in 2008, opened a fancy shop near his residence after being released from prison. He then told the police he had turned a new leaf. “He continued his crimes and struck at houses in Chitlapakkam and adjoining areas from mid-2011. He made sure not to leave behind his fingerprints at the crime scene or on the vehicles that he took. But he faulted on one occasion, which led us to pin him,” the inspector added.

A team led by P. Saravanan, deputy commissioner, St. Thomas Mount, initiated a probe recently on a series of burglaries that took place in the last two years here. “We deployed additional force during night patrol and carried out thorough surveillance near locked houses. As a result, we trapped Mohan who was enroute to commit an offence on Monday,” the deputy commissioner said.

Investigations revealed Mohan had sold a large quantity of the stolen jewellery and got his three sisters married and was constructing a house for his family.

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