S. Vijay Kumar

Accused abductors of student are nabbed

Accused forced victim to draw cash from ATM

They later inserted new SIM card in stolen phone

CHENNAI: An advanced feature in a mobile phone handset helped police crack a robbery case at Neelankarai here on Tuesday. The case pertains to the abduction of a student from the beach by a two-member gang that later robbed him.

According to police sources, S. Jagadeeshwara Reddy (21) and his friend P. Madhusudhan (22), both students of a private college, were at the beach in Injambakkam on Sunday evening when they were confronted by two youths who threatened them to part with their valuables.

When Reddy said he had no money, the suspects, who noticed a debit card in his wallet, forced him to get into a car and drove towards an Automated Teller Machine in Adambakkam.

They asked Madhusudhan to follow the vehicle if he wanted to ensure the safety of his friend. The gang snatched the mobile phones of the students to prevent them from making any calls.

On reaching Adambakkam, Reddy was forced to draw Rs.1,500 from his ATM. The accused left him there and drove away. The victim lodged a complaint with the Neelankarai police. Assistant Commissioner of Police (Thoraipakkam) K.N. Murali formed a special team to investigate the case.

“One of the mobile phone handsets had a unique feature that would send messages to three pre-set numbers automatically whenever a new SIM card is inserted. When one of the accused persons activated the mobile with his SIM card, three of Reddy’s friends received an SMS on the new number. This helped investigators to locate the gang,” Mr. Murali told The Hindu on Tuesday.

With the help of the service provider, the team managed to arrest M. Antony Charles Victor (24), employee of a ‘biryani’ shop in Tirupati, and his brother M. Zion Raphael Lawrence (20) of Gangai Amman Street in Selaiyur.

Victor had brought his employer’s car to Chennai for servicing. The brothers hit upon the robbery idea while going on a test drive.

“The SIM card was in the name of Victor’s father. The accused were nabbed in Vengaivasal in Selaiyur based on an input given by a family member. It was only after police pretended to have come for passport verification did the family members reveal the location of the duo. The car used to commit the offence has been seized,” Mr. Murali said.

The accused were produced in a city court and remanded to judicial custody, the sources said, and added that the cash and two mobile phone handsets were recovered.