Nedumkandam: The popular tourist spots in Idukki districts are being targeted by gangs of thieves masquerading as beggars and tramps. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the culprits engage in their operations mostly on Saturdays and Sundays.
Police have received information regarding the gangs after a few persons were nabbed while carrying out thefts. Officers said some thieves also pose as peddlers of perfumes or as traditional healers and reach the main market in the town. They grab anything that has some value. After the arrests, the police have stepped up vigil in the district.
Women bus passengers most vulnerable
Police said that women bus passengers were the prime target of the gangs. Complaints regarding theft of jewelry during bus journeys are being frequently reported during the recent days. In the latest incident, a woman’s ornament weighing one-and-a half sovereigns was lost while traveling in a bus plying on the Nedunkandam – Udumbanchola route. Police said that a gang from Tamil Nadu was behind this incident.
Earlier, thieves used to operate alone. However, now, organized gangs comprising at least two to three members engage in thefts after elaborate planning. During daytime, the gangs conduct a recce of the area where they plan to strike and identify easy targets. At night, they carry out the theft and escape to neighboring Tamil Nadu without wasting time.
Local thieves also active
Police said that apart from gangs belonging to other states, persons hailing from Idukki are behind several thefts. ‘Local’ thieves mainly target agricultural produce and motors attached to borewells. Some of them prefer to rob from cardamom plantations.