A team of police from the South Sub Division Police has arrested two of the six persons said to be involved in nine criminal cases, including five cases of theft in temples, reported in Mangaluru and other police limits in Dakshina Kannada.
Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar gave the names of the accused as Mohammed Suhail (19) and Nizamuddin (21), both from K.C. Road, Talapady.
A search is on for four of their associates, Mr. Kumar told reporters here on Monday.
Mr. Kumar said that a special team had been formed to trace the accused in the wake of the recent thefts at temples in Konaje, Ullal and Mangaluru Rural police limits. CCTV footage related to the theft at the Gopalaswamy Temple in Konaje, which clearly showed the accused and contained other technical evidence, led to the arrest of the accused.
Initial investigation revealed the involvement of the accused in five temple thefts, two thefts at petrol bunks and a case of mugging of a few pedestrians.
Three criminal cases were registered in the Konaje Police Station, two in Ullal Police Station and a criminal case each in Punjalkatte, Bantwal, Mangaluru Rural and Kankanady Police Stations.
The police have recovered from them money and other articles stolen from the temples, he said.
After the theft at the Gopalaswamy Temple, Mr. Kumar said, the accused had defecated on the temple premises. Stating that these accused were not involved in the cases related to throwing unwanted material in and desecration of Daivastanas and Bhajan Mandir, Mr. Kumar said that there was another group of offenders involved in those acts and a special team is trying to trace it.
Mr. Kumar asked people to share with police information, if any, they have about those accused.