Special Correspondent

SALEM: A habitual offender, posing himself a police constable, conned a youth from Attur by pretending to ‘arrest him on suspicious grounds’ and produced him in the Judicial Magistrate Court IV before robbing him off his valuables worth Rs 10000 here on Thursday.

The youth, Subramani (26) was standing at the Old Bus stand here to catch a town bus to go to Attur. At that time a heavily built man came in a two-wheeler and brusquely enquired the youth about his identity and purpose of visit to the city.

After a detailed verification, the trickster said that he was not satisfied with the youth’s answers and announced that he is arresting the youth for `suspicious movements in a public place’. Later the con man took him in his bike to the Salem Integrated Court Complex to produce him before a court seeking his remand.

After making a few urgent calls on his mobile ostentatiously with senior police officials, he escorted Subramani into the accused enclosure of the Judicial Magistrate Court No. IV. He also asked him to part with his gold chain, watch, cash Rs 250 and his mobile phone saying that the articles should not be taken inside the court premises at the time of hearing. No one at that time was inside the court hall since it was adjourned for lunch. Then he left and vanished for once for all.

When the employees returned to court room after the lunch, they saw, to their surprise, a youth standing all alone in the accused enclosure. He told them what happened. The employees after verifying the listings on the day’s agenda found out that there was no case pending in the name of Subramani. They realised that the youth had been duped.

After obtaining the vital details about the con man’s physique and features, the Asthampatti police here had identified him a history-sheeter from Veeranam block in Salem district who by his frequent visits to court and prison knew their routine functioning very well.

A special squad has been formed to nab him.