Hyderabad: After a month-long operation, the Cyberabad police arrested six persons who were involved in 50 cases of thefts in temples in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana state and Karnataka.
The police just had clues from footage of CCTV cameras. They seized six tolas of gold, around three kilos of silver, Rs 1.25 lakh cash, three bikes and five phones from the accused, who belong to a nomadic tribe.
The gang, originally from Kadapa district, follows a unique practice before attempting a burglary: they put coins in the hundi (collection box) to hear the sound to estimate if it is full and worth stealing.
In May this year, a temple in Shadnagar was burgled. A group of men gained entry by breaking down the iron doors and stealing cash, silver and other gold articles deposited in three hundis in the temple.
The temple authorities had installed CCTV cameras inside the premises, but the burglars had masked their faces. The police, though, noted the registration number of a bike on which the suspects had visited the temple a day before the burglary and cross-checked their mannerisms.
The investigation revealed that a gang originally from Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh, that tends not to settle in one place for a long time, was behind the burglaries. They keep travelling across AP, Telangana state and Karnataka.
Cyberabad police commissioner V.C. Sajjanar said special teams were formed after a series of offences in and around the commissionerate. Eventually, six people were caught on the outskirts of Shadnagar — Naguluri Adinarayana, N. Eashwaraiah, G. Anjaneyulu, N. Yesaiah, N. Yesu Ratnam and N. Anjaiah.
The commissioner said that the gang members scouted the temple area a day before committing the theft.
“They put coins in the hundi and listened to the sound as it drops in. If they hear a loud sound, it means the hundi is empty and not worth stealing. If the sound is low, it means there is a lot of money in the hundi and they steal the cash as seen in the footage of the CCTV cameras installed in one of the temples,” said the commissioner.
He said that gang members along with their families travel from one place to another....