Panaji Police have achieved a major breakthrough in a robbery case with the arrest of an Odisha native who has at least 48 burglaries against him in his home state of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The relationship between the police and the community helped local police focus on the accused identified as Santosh Kumar. The 42-year-old was wanted in a recent robbery case in Miramar in which he decamped with Rs 1,57,416 in cash and personal effects from a clinic on September 9-10. CCTV cameras installed at the clinic captured his crime.
Panaji police informed that the thief took away the DVR, but it was later found abandoned near Caculo settlement by his team. Fortunately, the data was not deleted, which helped the police solve the case.
“The DVR was sent to Verna Forensic Science Lab to retrieve the data. We discovered that a well-built man with a mustache and carrying a torch broke the counter drawers and stole the money. While we were investigating the matter, some residents of Cota Ghar, Sagar Villa, informed us that after midnight on September 15, a suspicious looking man on a rental bicycle was spotted in their settlement. We reviewed CCTV footage and found it was the same thief,” an officer said.
PI Nikhil Palekar quickly called a meeting of bike rental operators at the police station and was shown his picture. One of them confirmed that the alleged thief was his client and provided his records to the police.
“With the help of a call monitoring center in Porvorim, the accused’s mobile location was traced and we found him hiding in a hotel in Panaji. He was arrested and some of the stolen property was seized. The burglary tools were also recovered,” an officer said.
Police praised the vigilance of Miramar residents and rental bike owners who helped police detect this case of theft.
The accused has 48 cases of robbery and burglary recorded against him with the highest 29 in Andhra Pradesh, 15 in Odisha and four in Karnataka.