Hyderabad: The Rachakonda police on Friday busted an interstate chain-snatching gang operating in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and recovered stolen gold worth Rs. 1.70 lakh. Five members of the gang were arrested.

A series of chain snatchings had been reported under Medipally police station limits recently. On 6 May, the gang snatched gold chains from women at two locations - Ashok Nagar and Shankar Nagar under Medipally police station. On 26 July, two more chain snatchings took place in the same colonies.

Following these incidents, the Rachakonda commissioner formed special teams consisting of CCS LB Nagar, IT Cell, and Medipally police. On 6 August, the teams apprehended four persons following a tip-off. During questioning, they revealed that they had been involved in 36 chain snatching cases and two vehicle thefts in Telangana and AP since the past one-and-a-half-year. They have committed offences under Rachakonda commissionerate in Telangana and in Tirupati Urban, Vijayawada, Nellore, and Guntur in AP.

The arrested have been identified as Syed Basha (33), Shaik Ayub (35), Shail Mohd Khaleed (35), Nagollu Shashidhar Reddy (28), and Patan Jaffer Khan. All are from Kadapa town. The police seized gold ornaments (226 grams) worth Rs. 10 lakhs, cash Rs. 1.70 lakhs, and a car worth Rs. 7 lakhs.

Basha, an auto driver, was first arrested by the Kadapa police for stealing copper from transformers in 2010. He went to Kuwait in 2017 but returned in February 2020 following a traffic accident. He became acquainted with Ayub while driving an autorickshaw in Kadapa.

The two hatched a plan to snatch chains and Basha even watched chain snatching videos on YouTube. The duo committed their first offence in Vijayawada city and have committed several chain snatchings under the limits of 11 police stations, the police said.

According to the police, the two men travelled by cab or bus to a town where Ayub would steal an old motorcycle using a false key. The duo would recce an area and snatch gold ornaments from women mostly in by-lanes. Sometimes they would commit multiple snatching within a span of 10-15 minutes and flee the scene and discard the stolen motorbike.

Sometimes they travelled in Mohd Khaleed's cab and robbed women. Khaleed picked up the stolen items while Shashidhar guarded the car. Jaffer Khan who is a goldsmith received the stolen property.


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