In the past three weeks, a gang has duped 10 senior citizens of their ornaments, writes K.V. Subramanya

Conmen have been striking at will all over the city, mainly in Bangalore South, duping people of their gold ornaments and cash. A spurt in such incidents has caused some anxiety among the public.

In the past three weeks, a two-member gang has duped around 10 senior citizens of their gold ornaments by adopting the same modus operandi.

After spinning a tale that they were starting a gold jewellery showroom, the two men have been approaching elderly people seeking their blessings for their new venture. They have been successfully making away with gold ornaments their unsuspecting victims had wrapped in currency notes on their advice.

Such incidents have been reported from Jayanagar, Siddapura, J.P. Nagar, Channamanakere Achukattu, Adugodi and Banashankari police station limits. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) S. Ravi, 13 such cases have been reported from his jurisdiction this year and the same gang is suspected to be involved in all the cases.

“We have taken all possible steps to apprehend the duo. We have formed 10 special teams. Nabbing them is a challenge for us,” Mr. Ravi said.

In all the incidents, the victims had spent at least 10 to 15 minutes with the conmen. On the basis of the description given by them, the police have prepared “approximate” portraits of the two men. These portraits have been circulated at various places with a view to tracing them and also to create awareness among the public to be cautious of the duo, according to Mr. Ravi.

Same ploy

Using the same ploy, cheats duped 10 elderly women of their gold ornaments in a span of 24 hours in different parts of the city, mainly in the West division, a year ago. The police do not rule out the possibility of the duo having committed these offences also, which have not been solved. On the other hand, cheats in the guise of gold ornament polishers and “good Samaritan policemen” have been relieving women of their jewellery.

After approaching women on secluded roads, the “policemen” advise the women to remove their jewellery stating that robbers were on the prowl in the area.

After wrapping the jewellery in paper, the cheats hoodwink the women and make away with the jewellery.

Such incidents are being reported from all over the city since 2004. Some time ago, the Chickpet police arrested three Iranian youths who had settled in Guntakal in Andhra Pradesh on charges of committing such crimes.

Senior police officials have some tips to the public: policemen never ever ask people on the road to remove their gold ornaments. Even if you feel so unsafe as to remove them, do not hand them over to strangers. You should keep them in your bag or pocket yourself.

With regard to so-called gold polishers, the police advise the public to take their ornaments to jewellery shops and not entertain strangers in their homes.