After looting innocent motorists of lakhs of rupees, Thursday proved unlucky for the notorious ‘Rs 10-note gang’ as two of the five thieves landed in the police net, as they attempted to escape with belongings and cash stolen from three cars.
Surendra Prakash and a 14-year-old, both from Trichur in Tamil Nadu were caught by a complainant and locals after a brief chase in the capital city.
In fact, the gang of five members had entered Panjim from Margao and could have probably come through the Konkan Railway, early Thursday morning to target their victims here.
The three thefts were committed within a span of just 70 to 75 minutes. Their very first victim was Pune-based Rohan Gaikwad, whose bag containing laptop and data card was stolen from his car between 10:30 and 10:45 am.
Over 30 minutes later, the thieves stole another bag containing Rs 2,000, ATM card and other articles from a parked Honda City car belonging to Lalita Kamat near Geeta Bakery.
As the confidence soared, they probably threw caution to the winds and their third attempt of looting Ganesh Sutar’s Rs one-lakh valuables from the 18 June Road proved unlucky. Sutar chased the accused and simultaneously raised an alarm to which people responded and caught the thieves. Three other rogues managed to escape.
Inspector Rajendra Prabhudesai said the stolen property of Kamat and Sutar was recovered.
In all the three instances, the accused thieves had duped them using the modus operandi of placing Rs 10-rupee notes on the road near the vehicle.
“They informed the drivers that their money had fallen. After their victims’ attention was diverted, the gang lifted the valuables from the open vehicles and fled. They were caught by the people and handed over to the police,” the officer said.
Another police team member informed, “They would steal the belongings and pass it on to their members who would be standing a few metres away from each other. This is how they would steal and flee.”
The juvenile delinquent has been lodged at Apna Ghar while the other accused is in the lock-up. Police have registered three separate offences under section 379 of the IPC for theft against them and a manhunt has been launched to locate the nab those that escaped. A combing operation was conducted at possible hideouts late evening. [H]