KERALA

Kollam police snare notorious burglar

KOLLAM Dec. 7. The mystery behind more than 150 burglaries reported over a period of four years from various parts of the State has been solved following the arrest of the notorious burglar, Francis alias `Bullet Salim', by the Kollam Police yesterday.

Salim was arrested by a special police team constituted by the Kollam SP, M.R. Ajith Kumar. The Dy.SP., Kailasnath, who headed the team, along with the sub inspector, Jacob, of the Shakthikulangara police station, nabbed him when he was en route for yet another burglary.

At a press conference here, Mr. Kailasnath said that Salim usually targeted houses and shops at night, laying hands only on cash and ornaments, while the occupants were away.

His modus operandi was to gain entry by breaking open the front door, no matter how strong the lock was.

He derives the nickname "bullet'' for his ability to give the slip in the event of a chase.

In a lighter vein, following his arrest, Salim even advised the police to maintain an extra vigil over him since he was prone to "vanish'' even from custody if he got an opportunity.

Mr. Kailasnath said that the "advice" had been taken seriously and he has been kept under constant watchful eyes of four constables.

The looted ornaments were sold at fixed jewellery shops. He began is notorious career in Thrissur from where he was arrested red-handed and imprisoned. Following his release, he tried his luck at various districts. The Eranakulam Central Police station alone has 42 cases pending against him.

Police said that following interrogations, Salim confessed and gave details of more than 150 burglaries he had committed.

The police team comprised the constables, V. Cyril, M. Pradeep, Anandan Pillai and M. Nazar. Police said the process of recovering the stolen property has begun.

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