The commercial capital and its surroundings are in the grip of a four-member group of slippery thieves. But their modus operandi of house-breakings aside, it's their attire, or rather the lack of it, that's most gripping.
Dressed in just their underwear, these men, caught for just 10 seconds on CCTV footage on Friday night at Colmorod, Navelim, are described as "large, strong and dangerous". So, on Saturday, the Margao police issued a public appeal. "Ensure that all the doors and windows in your homes are locked and bolted," the populace has been advised.
Explaining the alert, PI Sudesh Naik said, "We got a call last night that at Colmorod, Navelim, these four men were attempting to break into a house after unhooking the screws of a grill attached to a window. But in doing so they woke up the pet dog that woke up the owners who called the police." Though the police "rushed to the site", the men had slipped into the night.
Naik said the same men had attempted to break into a flat in a building in Chandrawaddo, Fatorda, a few days earlier. Their plans there were foiled when an elderly man walked out of his apartment and spotted them. When he confronted them, the thieves gestured that they would hit him if he made a noise. They then fled.
While the police have decided to increase and "strengthen" their night patrolling "as the four men are considered dangerous", Naik explained: "These four men roam about only in their underwear, apply oil on their bodies and carry backpacks that have screwdrivers and other equipment for house-breaking. They usually stick to roads that are secluded late at night and are known to jump the compound walls of houses or buildings and to lurk in the back for a while before striking."
He showed the CCTV footage where the four men, wearing just their underwear and backpacks, are seen scaling a wall and walking quietly and stealthily towards the house.
"We appeal to people to make sure that their windows are locked properly, that no screws of the grills are loose and to avoid keeping windows open at night. The doors should also be locked properly and police should be called if anything suspicious is seen," stressed Naik.
Police suspect the same gang is behind the few recent house-breakings in and around the commercial capital. [TOI]