Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: Alert residents and responsive autorickshaw drivers successfully nabbed two thieves while a third had a fatal fall while trying to jump from the balcony of an apartment building on Thursday.

J. Poornachandra Rao, who took over as Police Commissioner from his predecessor N. Sambasiva Rao, rushed to the scene soon after assuming office on getting information about the incident.

Caught off-guard

A woman and her son living on the fourth floor of Satvik Apartments at Marripalem VUDA Colony locked their house at 11.30 a.m. and went to a temple. They returned after an hour and were surprised to find the lock on the door broken. The woman pushed the door to find a thief in the room. She immediately closed the door and stood guard outside. She asked her son to go down and call the watchman, besides alerting other residents.

In the meantime, two of the thieves jumped to the balcony on the second floor and managed to get out of the apartment complex. They tried to hire an autorickshaw to go to the railway station. The driver initially refused and they moved away hurriedly.

High drama

Meanwhile, on hearing commotion in the flats, the auto driver sensed foul play and went to the two youths in his autorickshaw and picked them up after making them believe he would take them to the station. He reversed his vehicle and took them to the apartment complex. One of the thieves jumped out of the moving vehicle and started fleeing while the second was caught by the residents.

Other auto drivers from the nearby autorickshaw stand chased the fleeing thief and he was also caught and handed over to the Fifth Town police.

The third thief, who tried to jump into the second floor balcony, fell to the ground and died on the spot.

All the three accused are natives of Uttar Pradesh. The police recovered about 15 tolas of gold ornaments from them.