For nearly two years, Bijuraj managed to steal at his will across the State and still evade the police who were hot on his trail. However, the theft of a bishop’s ring, part of the bishop’s holy regalia and which he could not sell off, finally landed him in the police net.

According to Sheen Tharayil, Circle Inspector, Thampanoor, Bijuraj, 46, alias Satheesh, a native of Chengannur, had been on a stealing spree across the State, but leaving fingerprints too. This made him a ‘known’ but elusive criminal. The run came to an end on Wednesday, when he was taken into custody under suspicious circumstances by the City shadow police team from the city. Bijuraj had the bishop’s ring with him, and this was identified by the police, helping them establish his identity as the man on whose trail they had been all these days.

Bijuraj had stolen the ring, a four-sovereign gold chain and Rs.10,000 in cash from the house of Bishop K.P. Kuruvilla of the North Kerala diocese of the Church of South India at Sasthamangalam in April. However, with the insignia on the ring driving away his regular buyers, Bijuraj could not sell the ring and he even tried to melt it. The ring was in a half melted condition when retrieved, Mr. Tharayil said.

Several other thefts, including those at a house of a beautician at Poojappura and another one at Sasthamangalam, had been solved with the arrest, Mr. Tharayil said. The accused was remanded in judicial custody.