The city police on Thursday arrested three persons in connection with an armed robbery in Vanchiyoor police station limits on August 31, 2009.

Five persons, armed with swords and travelling on two motorbikes, intercepted a van transporting Rs. 4 lakhs from the branch of a nationalized bank at Ayurveda College to the office of a private pharmaceutical company at Ambalathumukku. The money was the Onam festival bonus for the employees of the company.

Abhilash, 22, an employee of the company, was carrying the money in a bag while Ratheesh, another employee, was driving the van.

At around 12 p.m on Monday, three persons travelling on a motorbike overtook the van through its left side. Abhilash picked a quarrel with the riders who blocked the van’s path with their motorbike. Immediately, two other persons reached the spot on another motorbike. They brandished swords and took the currency bag from the van.

The police said the robbery was an inside job. They said they found it odd that Abilash had picked a fight with the motorbike riders for apparently no reason. There were several other contradictions in his statement. A police team led by Assistant Sub Inspector of Police, C. Mohan, searched Abilash’s house. They found Rs. 2.85 lakh concealed in an earthen pot inside his room.

The police said they arrested Abilash and two of his friends, Pradeep, 22, and Arun, 22, on the basis of his confession. Investigators said three more persons were involved in the crime. All the accused are first time offenders. They made their living doing odd jobs in their neighbourhood.

The police said the suspects had planned the robbery as early as June, primarily for buying motorbikes and expensive clothes and foot wear. They made two attempts earlier, in June and July, but failed. Investigators said the accused got inspired by certain movies which glorified the lives of professional burglars.

The arrested men were produced before the court on the charge of conspiracy and robbery and remanded them to judicial custody for a period of 14 days. Circle Inspector, Pettah, S. Suresh Kumar is investigating the case.