TAMIL NADU

Marketing executives rob gold loan firm

A gang of five who stole more than 4 kilos of gold from the office of Muthoot Mini Finance at Mariyappanapalya in Kumbalgodu police limits on October 20 had meticulously planned the robbery for over a month.

The gang had purchased police uniforms and a country-made pistol along with 15 rounds of ammunition from Majestic.

They had visited the area several times before striking, Ramanagar police said.

The police have rounded up the members, identified as Suresh Chandra (33) from Mandya, Mohammed Junaid (42) from Banashankari in Bengaluru, K.R. Manjunath (38) from Tumakuru, Umesh (31) from Mandya and Prasanna Shetty from Udupi.

Superintendent of Police, Ramanagar, Dr. Chandra Gupta on Saturday said that they had forged the registration number of the cars used to kidnap the manager and later rob the firm.

“The accused are pre-university drop-outs. They worked in various marketing firms.

They had visited several financial firms posing as customers before zeroing in on Muthooth Mini in Kumbalgodu,” he added.

The Kumbalgodu branch was selected since the gang felt that it would be easier to escape since it is on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

On the night of October 20, they donned ‘police uniforms’ and confronted the manager Nagendrappa, while he was heading home after work.

They got him inside their car on the pretext of an inquiry and drove to the outskirts.

They tortured him for the secret number of the locker, police said.

The gang returned to the firm along with Nagendrappa in the early hours.

They threatened the security at gunpoint before picking up 4,329 grams of gold and Rs 1.18 lakh. They took away CCTV cameras and the recorder to avoid being identified.

“They took Nagendrappa and the security in their vehicles.

After taking their mobile phones, they were dumped in an isolated place,” an officer said.

A special team traced the car using CCTV footage from in and around the area. The police zeroed in on them on Friday.

They have recovered gold worth Rs 1.5 crore, an air pistol with 15 rounds of ammunition, two cars, three bikes, 10 mobile phones, police uniforms and a machine used to melt gold from them. “We are tracking down the shop from where they got the uniforms," Mr. Chandra Gupta said.

The police found clues of the gang through OLX, an online platform for classified ads. “They (gang) had checked OLX for cars on sale and made a few calls to inquire about vehicles. This helped the police track them down before they could dispose the booty,” Dr. Chandra Gupta said.

The gang had browsed OLX looking for cars on sale. “After purchasing cars, they replaced the registration numbers to evade the police. Their aim was to send the police after the car-owners instead of them,” he added.

On examining the Call Detail Records, they learnt that one of the numbers was in the area of the crime.They stole 4 kgs of gold from the office of Muthoot Mini Finance in Kumbalgodu

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