: The city police on Tuesday detained seven juveniles in conflict with law (JCL) in connection with the theft of gold ornaments and chain-snatching cases in the coastal village of Marad.

A team of police personnel led by Marad Sub-Inspector A. Umesh and Assistant Sub-Inspector P. Rajan nabbed the group, suspected to be involved in various thefts and chain-snatching cases reported from Naduvattom, Mathottam and Arakkinar areas during the last one month. The police said the JCL were involved in a burglary at a house at Naduvattom and a chain-snatching case at an apartment complex at Mathottam.

The JCL, some of them students of a local school, were produced before Principal Magistrate S.H. Panchapakesan of the Kozhikode Juvenile Justice Board.

Mr. Umesh said the police had recovered gold ornaments valued at Rs.75,000 from various jewellery shops in the city. He said the teenagers, a few of them also working in upholstery units, had taken to stealing to fund their lavish lifestyle such as buying branded clothes and dining at expensive restaurants. The police were able to bust the seven-member gang while investigating a theft case at a house at Naduvattom, he said.

The police had kept a watch on the movement of the gang members after getting details about their activities. The JCL in the 14-17 age group had also procured an air gun from the market, the police said.

The police also questioned the parents of these children. Some of the parents are employed in the Gulf, Mr. Umesh said.

Less than a month ago, the police had arrested several juveniles in connection with the theft of motorcycles and computers in the station limits of Medical College and Nallalam in the city. Nearly 56 minors had been detained for such crimes in the past two months, P. Vijayan, Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode city, said.

The Commissioner has called a meeting on August 4 of the parents of those children involved in juvenile delinquency. Some of these children were from broken families. The involvement of the Social Welfare Department and non-government organisations was needed to tackle the issue, Mr. Vijayan said.

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