Vijayawada: The police here have arrested a gang that used to murder elderly people to rob cash and gold ornaments, in actions resembling the Dandupalyam movie. The gang comprised five youths.
They targeted old people living alone by conducting recce first and then robbed them of gold ornaments and cash after murdering them.
Vijayawada police commissioner Battina Srinivasulu told the media on Thursday that the five were arrested after they made an attempt to rob an ATM booth at Penamaluru. During investigation, the inhuman killings of the past came to light.
The Penamaluru police registered the bank ATM robbery attempt case, collected CCTV footage and interrogated old criminals and auto-rickshaw drivers. After this, the police arrested five persons on Thursday.
The commissioner said the arrested were auto rickshaw driver Velpuri Prabhu Kumar (22) of Poranki village, vegetable seller on auto rickshaw Sunkara Gopi Raju (22) of Poranki village, auto rickshaw driver Ponamala Chakravarti alias Chakri (21) of Tadigadapa, auto rickshaw driver Moram Naga Durga Rao alias Chanti (21) of Karmikanagar embankment area of Tadigadapa and painter Maddi Phanindra Kumar (20) from Komayathoppu.
Explaining the modus operandi, the commissioner said the five were living in the vicinity and became friends. Addicted to bad habits, they decided to make easy money by committing crimes.
The gang had murdered Nalini (58), a woman living alone in Vishnupuram Colony, Poranki Village; Sita Mahalakshmi (68), Tumula centre, Poranki village; and Talluri Dhanalakshmi (58) Tadigapa and Papamma (85), of Poranki village.
The family members of the deceased did not lodge a complaint with the police as there were no injuries on the bodies and they were considered as natural deaths.
The gang also murdered Nageswara Rao (80) and Pramilarani (75), in Kanchikacherla, and Malleswara Rao, a resident of Karmikanagar, Tadigadapa, and stole gold ornaments.
The police commissioner said the gang killed six persons and looted 40 sovereigns of gold ornaments. Some of the stolen ornaments were mortgaged and others sold. The gang conducted recce in Kankipadu, Vuyyuru, Penamaluru, Tenali and Mangalagiri areas to commit crimes.
Police have advised people living alone to take appropriate security measures including installation of CCTV cameras for security purpose.