The city police have arrested a 35-year-old resident of Puttenahalli, who has been involved in multiple cases of chain snatchings over the past five years.
Santhosh, who hails from Tamil Nadu, is a B.Com graduate and works as an interior decorator in the city. To fund his addiction to gambling and other vices, he had resorted to chain snatching, the police said. They have recovered 51 gold chains totally weighing 2.5 kg, two bikes, and a car used for the crime, altogether worth ₹1.5 crore.
Puttenahalli police, probing a chain snatching case in July 2022, hit a roadblock when they found that the bike seen in the CCTV footage had a fake number plate. Four special teams were formed to crack the case.
“We analysed footage from hundreds of CCTV cameras in and around the crime scene. The person never removed his helmet, and the bike had a fake number plate. The only clue we had was the helmet. However, a technical investigation trying to track the mobile number that moved in sync with the movement of the bike led us to the suspect, and we recovered the bike and the helmet we had seen in the CCTV footage,” said a senior police official.
Police arrested Santosh and under sustained interrogation, he confessed to carrying out the crime for five years now. “We were surprised that he was involved in so many cases without getting caught,” said a senior official.
The police recovered 51 gold chains, some from him and some he had pawned at various shops across the city. Police have claimed to have cracked 32 cases across the city in Byadarahalli, Mahalakshmi Layout, Marathahalli, Vijaynagar, Hanumanth Nagar, Subramanyapura, Malleswaram, Puttenahalli, Devanahalli, Vidyaranyapura, Mico Layout and other police station limits.
Santosh looked up the RTO website and changed the number plate of his two bikes to avoid detection, police investigations have now revealed. He used to snatch chains whenever he needed money to fund his vices and remain low for a few days later, the police said.
He always worked alone on his bike with his face covered in a helmet. However, the police have also arrested an accomplice Ravi, 35, his friend who provided him logistical support for a share in the proceeds of crime, but he has claimed he did not know of the nature of crime Santosh was indulging in, police sources said.