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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Heist : Gold jewellery worth 4 crore stolen along with van near Sriperumpudur......

Newspapers are abuzz with reports of the recent close to 4 crore value  heist.. A heist is a robbery from an institution such as a bank or a museum, or any robbery in which there is a large haul of loot. 

Do you remember big burly CBI Inspector – SP Balasubramaniam tracking down the container load of freshly printed bank notes worth 10 billion ~ that was ‘Thiruda Thiruda’ of Mani Ratnam released in 1993 featuring Prashanth, Anu Agarwal and Heera. Usually a heist film will contain a three-act plot. The first of the preparations for the heist: gathering conspirators, learning about the layout of the location to be robbed, all their strategic plans; next is the act of heist [which mostly will be successful but with unexpected events] and then the plot getting unravelled. Many a times the players will turn against one another exhibiting greed in singularly holding the loot and film would end up with main villains getting trapped by long arm of law.

Recently in France - Redoine Faid, who published a book on life as a criminal in France's tough city suburbs, took four prison guards hostage inside Sequedin prison near Lille on Saturday morning. He then set off a series of explosions, blowing open five prison doors in turn, allegedly using explosives that his wife had smuggled into prison that morning wrapped in handkerchiefs. Faid, 40, released the guards but escaped in a car which was later found burnt out near Ronchin, south of Lille.  Elsewhere in UK, a prison van was attacked this morning amid reports that two prisoners were sprung. The van, which it is believed was delivering prisoners to court, was attacked on Regent Road in Salford at around 9am. A man due to be sentenced for a series of robberies on pawn shops and another person were take away. 

Prison van – photo courtesy :

Back home, Tamil Nadu would remember the escape of 3 Sri Lankan Tamils, including Kiruban, an accused in the Padmanabha murder case.  They escaped while they were being taken from the Chennai Central Prison for being produced before a judicial magistrate in Pattukottai. The van containing the prisoners stopped in a wayside hotel on GST road in Mamandur. The undertrials were not hand-cuffed; after they had dinner some persons in a car fired at them ~ the undeertrial escaped.  The cops accompanying the prisoners were later dismissed from service which was contested.

Now, in a daring heist,gold jewellery worth Rs 4 crore was stolen from a van parked outside a motel near Sriperumbudur on the Chennai-Bangalore highway on Monday [19.8.13] afternoon.  It is reported that the jewellery belonging to Titan company was meant to be distributed to various showrooms in Chennai. Some amount of jewellery had been distributed earlier to showrooms in Kancheepuram an Tirupattur. TPO quoting Police states that supervisor Rajendran, driver Satish and security guard Subramani were bringing the gold, packed in an metal box, from the Titan manufacturing unit in Hosur when they stopped at the motel for lunch around 2.30pm.They returned after a while and found the van missing. Rajendran informed top Titan officials who alerted police. The van was found abandoned about four km from the motel. The jewellery was missing. Police are questioning the three Titan staff members.

Photos of the van courtesy  : The Hindu 

A gang identifying and driving away the van containing jewellery is reported to be a well-planned operation.  The employees were bringing the gold, packed in an aluminum box,  from the Titan manufacturing unit in Hosur when they stopped at the motel at Vadamangalam village near Sriperumbudur for lunch. The guard reportedly placed his single barrel breach load (SBBL) rifle on the back seat of the vehicle and the trio walked into the motel. They returned to the parking lot a little while later and were stunned to see the van missing.  The van was later found abandoned on a little-used just 4 kms away ~ the loaded rifle was where it had been left; the aluminum box and the jewellery were gone. Some villagers told police they saw four people shifting a box from the van to another vehicle and driving away. Soon, check posts at various points on the national highway were alerted  and police personnel began checking all cars, mainly those matching the descriptions given by the villagers.  It is stated to be a daily service, that the staff followed a routine and always stopped at the motel for lunch while bringing the jewellery ~ why would anybody leave the van unguarded and why leave the loaded rifle also inside are moot Qs…  some other newspaper reports put the value little lower at around 3 crores.  Police personnel are carrying out a thorough inspection at all checkposts en route and investigators are examining CCTV footage from tollgates in the area for clues.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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