A police constable from Chennai received cash reward and praises from his seniors after he busted a gang of Royal Enfield thieves. The head constable got into action single-handedly after his friend’s Royal Enfield was stolen on August 6. During the investigation, he worked to retrieve 26 Royal Enfield bikes and busting a three-year-old bike theft racket working in different parts of Tamil Nadu.
Royal catch! Kudos to Head Constable Saravanan of Greater Chennai police, who single handedly busted a gang that targeted and stole only Royal Enfield motorbikes bikes. 26 bikes recovered and are ready to be reunited with their owners. pic.twitter.com/ktmOaByxif
— R Sudhakar IPS (@ips_sudhakar) October 17, 2020
Shravankumar, who led the investigations got 10 persons arrested too. After his friend’s bike was stolen on August 6, a complaint was registered in the Abhiramapuram station. He further says he later received two more similar complaints. He started his investigation by finding out similar thefts in other police stations. Shravankumar received the information that as many as 24 police stations have similar reports of missing bikes of the same Royal Enfield brand. Since Royal Enfield bikes are not known for speed, he thought that the thieves must be selling them.
Earlier investigations went cold since the bikes were stolen from the areas where no CCTV cameras were installed. The department lost track of what happened. The gang of thieves identified multiple blindspots and exploited that to ensure that no one gets identified by the cops.
Sharavankumar says that he realised that the thieves are avoiding the CCTVs and he decided to track these vehicles all the time. The investigation lasted two months and surveillance was set-up for 56 days. It was a wild goose chase, which ended in a success story.
The August 6 theft was tracked via CCTV footage. The accused had taken Shravankumar’s friend’s bike, who is also a police officer to Shenoy Nagar. The accused had entered the area in a blindspot. Shravankumar got a feeling that he was doing it on purpose as the area had history sheeters and the blindspot will ensure that the identity of the thieves is not revealed. The thieves then moved the bike from this area after two days in a hope that the cops must have lost track by then. However, the investigating officer was keeping a close eye on the movements.
Shravankumar said to TNM,
From the housing board, another team took the bike and then moved towards Santhome. For another hour, they don’t leave Santhome, once again to shake off anyone following their movements. But soon they are tracked via CCTV at Pattinapakkam. This entire process alone took 15 days. At the same time, another Royal Enfield vehicle took the same route, confirming our suspicions about the modus operandi,”
The culprits took the bike to areas such as Nachikuppam and Dumeelkuppam to divert the attention of the cops as many history sheeters stay here. That’s when the investigating officer found out that this is an extremely well-planned move. The cops also found out that they started the bike by hotwiring and installed a fake key to avoiding suspicion.
The thieves were then spotted on Thiruvanmiyur and then Uthandi toll. The people riding the bikes swapped to confuse the cops too. The cops then started tracking the phone numbers of all the persons involved.
“We caught three accused this way 10 days ago and they admitted to committing the crimes. Based on the details they gave, we have arrested another four persons. We are confident that we will retrieve all the bikes and arrest everyone involved, The accused were selling the bikes that originally cost upto Rs 2.5 lakh for Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000. They had a Whatsapp group to coordinate the sales,”
The cops have not revealed the exact technique that they used to catch the thieves as it may help such gangs in the future.