Staff Reporter

Stolen cellphones, gold ornaments recovered; jeweller of Old Town too held

  • They used to approach commuters posing as co-passengers
  • Rob them at knifepoint at a lonely spot

    VISAKHAPATNAM: The `autorickshaw gang' that created terror last month with a series of offences was busted on Thursday by a police team comprising men from the V Town, IV Town, Harbour and I Town police stations.

    Briefing newsmen on Friday, P. Rama Rao, Additional DCP, said that a gang of five members developed a unique modus operandi to commit the crime. "They approach lone and gullible commuters after 11 p.m. and offer a ride posing as co-passengers in the autorickshaw. After travelling certain distance and selecting a lonely spot, they relieve them of their valuables at knifepoint. We have recovered all the cellphones and gold ornaments robbed by them. We have also arrested G. Samba Murthy, a jeweller in the Old Town area who purchased the stolen ornaments," Mr. Rama Rao said.

    While Chinna Ramu, a native of Pendurthy was the autorickshaw driver, the other members were K. Raju, G. Vijya Kumar, D. Kondala Rao and V. Appala Raju, all residents of Kobbarithota and in their early 20s.

    The gang committed five such offences and the first was on February 8 when they lured Ramachandra Murthy, a videographer who was returning after a marriage shoot.

    He was picked up near Town Kotha Road and assaulted near the Sea Horse Junction. The same night, they committed a similar crime near Siripuram and subsequently one on February 21 and two on February 23.

    Vital clue

    The registration number of the autorickshaw that was noted down by one of the victims served as vital clue for tracing them. "The number was `3095' and for the last one week we were on the hunt. The traffic police of One Town Police Station tracked the vehicle and its driver on Thursday morning and on interrogation he spilled the beans," said Mr. Rama Rao.

    Suspended

    Commissioner of Police V.S.K. Kaumudi suspended one assistant sub-inspector and two head constables as they reportedly did not take down the complaint of a victim and harassed him by sending him from one police station to another.

    The SHOs of all the four police stations and V. Prem Babu, ACP (North) were present.