Hyderabad: The world's most popular search engine can become a golden tool for a criminal mind. A Chennai based bank employee, 26-year-old Karthik Raj, unhappy with his financial situation, devised a unique way of making money with little effort. Using Google's super-extensive database and mining prowess, the banker researched upon some of the richest persons in Hyderabad. Despite Google's assistance, it took him a month to draw up a list.
The list figured the city's who's who, and included thirty of the city' richest, mostly residing in Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and Madhapur areas. Though Raj belonged to Chennai and had little understanding of Hyderabad, he zeroed on to this city because he was a stranger here and therefore, it would be difficult for the police to trap him.
A plan of action was made and imprinted in his brain. Thanks to Google, Raj had already estimated the net worth of the people on his list. Accordingly, the plan was put into motion.
Raj first sneaked into a builder's residence at Banjara Hills but could not succeed. But the fact that a burglar had entered the house and had attempted robbery was registered and the builder lodged a complaint at the Banjara Hills police station. The police screened the CC footage and the clues provided by the complainant and were well prepared when Raj made his second attempt at burglary.
This was at the second house on his list, at Sringar Colony. It was while he was conducting a recce at this house that he was nabbed. Additional Inspector Banjara Hills K Ravi Kumar said the police were able to nab him because of the CCTV footage analysis and the clues given by the complainant. "He carried with him a mask, hand gloves and a knife in case the inmates of the house caught or resisted him." he said.
Karthik Raj, the son of a retired army personnel had completed his MBA and had started working for a private bank at Chennai, where he was earning Rs 18,000 per month. He also had two girlfriends, on whom he spent most of his earnings.
He planned burglaries in homes of the superrich. After finalizing the list in Chennai, Raj came to Hyderabad 15 days ago and conducted a recce in Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills and Madhapur areas, travelling in a hired cab.
On April 9, he identified a businessman's residence at Banjara Hills, Road No 3. "He jumped over the compound wall and entered the house. With the help of a ladder in the lawn, he climbed up to the balcony of the first floor and entered into a bedroom which was already open. Using the keys hanging onto the almirah he opened it and started rummaging. Alerted by the noise, when the residents woke up and raised an alarm, he fled through the same route through which he had come in", said Mr Ravi Kumar.
Raj was arrested when he was checking out his second target. On Sunday, he was sent to remand. A mask and gloves were also seized from his possession.