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With policemen away, conmen make hay

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Passing themselves off as policemen, a gang of fraudsters struck thrice on a single day, sending the city’s cops into a tizzy.

While the Central Zone police were focussed on propping up security for the Assembly’s budget session, elsewhere the gang of four was in the process of snaring its first target. They took away gold jewellery weighing 210 grams from a senior couple at AC Guards in Nampally on Friday morning, posing as policemen.

Three hours later, they tricked a 50-year-old woman to part with 60 grams of gold ornaments at Ashoknagar of Chikkadpally. An hour later, another old woman at Musheerabad was targetted.

Old trick

To masquerade as policemen, target lone women on the streets and snatch their jewellery is an old modus operandi. An aged woman wearing gold ornaments is usually accosted by a member of the gang of robbers, who introduces himself as a policeman. He berates the dame for walking alone with jewellery on her self. More often than not, the trickster is clad in a safari suit — akin to a policeman on special duty — making it easier for him to con gullible folk and decamp with their valuables. In the guise of helping her, the conman collects the ornaments, packs them in a paper or cloth and gives the packet back to her.

With a deft sleight of his hand, the trickster pushes the jewellery into his pocket and hands over a packet filled with stones, without arousing an iota of suspicion in the woman’s mind.

What’s different

The recent incidents are of a similar style, albeit slightly modified.

Instead of a single member, four or more members confront the woman. Claiming to be a police on patrol duty, they ask if she was not aware of ‘police instructions’ that people should not roam around wearing jewellery.

Even before the woman can react, they persuade her to remove her jewellery. As the woman hesitates, their associate turns up, acting as a passer-by. The latter, who would be wearing a chain or bracelet as part of the plot, is also ‘reprimanded’ and told not to move with jewellery.

“The associate, pretending to be following their instructions, removes his chain and puts in his pocket. Usually, this is enough to make the woman follow suit,” police say.

It also helped the tricksters that the whole of the Central Zone police were engaged for Assembly security arrangements. Even the crime wing police were drawn for bandobust duty.

As security duty at the Assembly keeps the cops busy, tricksters posing as policemen dupe three women of their gold. MARRI RAMU tells you how

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