After careful investigation, the Bengaluru police on Friday arrested a gang of five Columbian nationals for allegedly attempting to break into the house of former Karnataka Chief secretary Kaushik Mukherjee in Jayanagar.
The Jayanagar Police believe that the gang of five has also been involved in other high profile burglary attempts, including at a silk merchant’s home in HSR layout.
The arrested accused include Edward Alejandro, T Belia, J Gloria, Josh Edward and Roger Smith.
According to police sources, the investigation turned out to be difficult, as the Columbian nationals claimed that they can only speak Spanish. “The investigating team will be able to gather more details once we find a proper translator,” the police source said.
Sources in the Jayanagar Police Station say the police were able to learn that the accused were staying at OYO Rooms in Shivajinagar. “They have alleged that they came to Bengaluru on a tourist visa 25 days ago. But these five people are accused of theft in five areas across Bengaluru,” the source added.
The Jayanagar Police, on Friday afternoon, arrested the five accused from their hotel in Shivajinagar. “The five other theft cases are in Tilaknagar, HSR Layout and Jayanagar. It took us some time to track them down to Shivajinagar,” police said.
The five Columbian nationals were produced in court and sent to police custody for further investigation.
Police say that the gang also failed in two burglary attempts in the last 15 days in South Bengaluru.
According to the police, CCTV footage recovered from a silk merchant’s residence in Jayanagar where the gang’s burglary attempt had failed on June 22, helped the police identify the suspects and nab them.
“In the CCTV footage, the woman T Belia, arrives at the merchant’s residence in a posh car. Her head is covered in a scarf. She knocks on the door, rings the door bell and looks into the window to see if anyone is at home. When she confirms there is no one, she calls her associates who arrive in a few minutes. They are wearing gloves and caps. When they see the CCTV camera, they flee,” the police source added.
However, investigators also suspect that the accused may have connections with the notorious Pedro gang.
“In 2010, some members of the Pedro gang were arrested and the woman looks very similar to one of the Pedro gang members. We are still questioning them for more details,” the police source said.
Details of the case cannot be revealed as of now and more information will be given once investigation is complete, said Sharanappa DCP South.
In April 2010, Pedro Alejandro Maitra Rodriguez and his gang of three other members were arrested for allegedly planning and executing a jewellery heist of Rs 1.5 crore.
On March 22, jewellery worth Rs. 1.5 crore of Jaipur-based Derawala Jewellery was stolen from the hotel room of Vijay Saini, the jewellery firm's representative in Bengaluru. The jewellery had some exclusive pieces made by the firm using Italian machines.
The Central Crime Branch (CCB) police had gone to Goa to arrest the four accused. Later, police also learnt that they had committed similar offences in Chennai in 2009.
The gang of four had absconded after they were granted bail and the police found that the gang had also burgled a jewellery store in Tumakuru. However, no arrest was made in that case either. Police suspect that one of the men arrested on Friday may be a member of the Pedro gang.