BANGALORE, December 10: The curiosity of a policeman on patrol and perseverance of an investigator helped crack the case in which a woman was robbed of gold ornaments worth Rs. 2 lakh and a two-wheeler by a man who threatened to hit her with a stone if she resisted.
The incident took place in Girinagar around 11.30 p.m. on November 26. The modus operandi had baffled the police. The accused had waylaid Poornima Dinesh who was on a two-wheeler. Brandishing a huge stone, he threatened to hit her if she did not hand over all her valuables and the vehicle. Dr. Poornima did as she was told. Later, she provided a description of the mugger to the police.
The police had no other lead to work on. The investigating officer, Inspector Lakshmegowda B.B., summoned the beat patrol teams in the area for an enquiry.
One of the constables recalled accosting an inebriated person using a mobile phone. He asked his name and mobile number before losing interest in him. The policemen had come across this man before the crime. When the description matched that of the accused, investigators felt they had a lead.
But the policeman had not noted down the man’s name and could only recollect the first five digits of the mobile number – 98457 – given to him by the suspect. Armed with this information, police pored over all the calls that went through the closest mobile phone tower. Of the approximately one lakh calls, nearly 500 originated from numbers starting with the series 98457. Police spent the next 10 days calling all the 500 numbers before zeroing in on Murali from C.K. Achukattu locality.
When questioned, police said, Murali confessed to the crime. He claimed to have taken to crime to repay loans. He had sold the stolen vehicle and gold ornaments to a pawn broker. Police have recovered both.