Recent incidents of robberies have reiterated the need of public help in combating crime, writes V.S. Palaniappan.

Two special teams in Coimbatore Rural District and another in Coimbatore city are after a gang that struck at houses in remote areas. .

The modus operandi of the gang members is to come in undergarments, unleash terror and flee with booty. The gangmen would run for kilometres through fields and farms so that the police and people chasing them could never catch them. They apply oil all over their body so that those who chase them cannot get a grip on them even if they are caught. Incidents of these criminals striking at Pollachi, Kalapatti were reported while one incident was reported from Sulur. Superintendent of Police, Coimbatore Rural District, N. Kannan said that the police had definite clues about these criminals and the special teams were confident of nabbing them soon.

The public could be of greater help to the police in nabbing these criminals by being proactive and by providing timely information to the police in case of a robbery. Those living in remote areas should not have worn-out latches. Also, the latches should be supported by a small chain to prevent the door from opening fully so that criminals do not gain easy entry into the house.

In addition, the public should inform the police of any suspicious movement of unknown persons, especially at late hours. Timely information could help in reducing the reaction time of the police.

Police officials pointed out that people should not try to apprehend these criminals themselves as it may be dangerous. Mr. Kannan also said the gang members visit an area for three to four days and after a series of quick strikes leave in search of another place.

Officers in the special team said that there were clues indicating that the members of these gangs belonged to a particular tribe and hailed from a particular place. They added that they were confident of a breakthrough soon.