The city police netted a seven-member gang of vehicle lifters — who are also suspected of being involved in many other robbery cases — from Gothiswaram beach premises on Friday night.

The police recovered 15 two-wheelers, an autorickshaw, 10 mobile phones and several SIM cards from the nabbed youths.

According to the police, the arrested were K. Akhil Das, 20, Mohammed Anas, 19, Nandu Subrahmanyan, 19, Rejeesh Babu, 21, N.V. Ishaq, 20, P. Rohith, 20 and T. Ragesh, 20.

All the arrested were natives of Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Two more youths, reportedly part of the gang, too would be arrested shortly, they added.

City Police Commissioner G. Sparjan Kumar and Deputy Police Commissioner K.B. Venugopal told mediapersons that the gang members were experts at altering the number, colour, and make of the lifted vehicles, and selling them for a profit.

They also had the habit of waylaying inter-State truck drivers on the national highway, the police officers said.

As per the preliminary investigation, all the arrested youths were involved in several housebreakings in various parts of the city.

They also specialised in carting away domestic animals from rural households. The livestock was mostly sold to butchers.

The age of the accused, all between 20 and 22 years, too surprised the police officers who zeroed in on the gang following complaints.

They landed in police net as some of their operations failed following constant vigil by the police. On noticing the police, they used to seek shelter in various plantations during day. However, they continued their operations in less noticed areas.

All the accused were produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court-V and remanded in custody on Saturday. Their police custody would be sought on Monday as part of the continuing inquiry into the case. The arrest was made with the support of a team of police officials led by Assistant Commissioner K.R. Premachandran and Circle Inspectors K.K. Biju and T.K. Ashraf.

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