The accused are migrant residents of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

A screenshot of a CCTV footage which showe members of the Chaddi gang
news Crime Friday, December 17, 2021 - 19:19

The Vijayawada police have arrested three members of the ‘chaddi gang’ of burglars who had committed a series of thefts in and around the city over the past few weeks. The group of burglars has been so named because of their modus operandi, which involves committing theft while only wearing briefs and a vest, and applying oil over their body to slip away easily if caught by someone. Vijayawada police had earlier said that they had identified the culprits as residents of Dahod district in Gujarat. They have now arrested three accused, Madiya Kanji Meda (30) and Sakra Mandod (45) from Gujarat’s Dahod district, and Kamlesh Baberia (27) from Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. The police are yet to arrest others involved in the crimes.

A couple of burglary attempts by the gang were caught on CCTV, leading to rumours and panic over possible housebreaking incidents. According to a press note from the Vijayawada police commissionerate, the accused were nabbed mainly from evidence and observation of modus operandi, as well as CCTV footage, related to three incidents of robberies over which complaints were received at the Vijayawada II Town, Ibrahimpatnam, and Penumaluru police station limits.

Vijayawada police said that the accused were daily wage workers who committed robberies when out of work. According to the police, the gang members travel by train to other states, go to isolated areas on the outskirts of a town or city, identify houses and apartments that are locked and seem unattended by conducting a recce during the day, and return to break in at night and loot cash and gold.

Read: 'Chaddi' gang strikes near Vijayawada? Cops probing CCTV footage

According to the police, the accused came from Gujarat to Vijayawada in November. On November 28, they allegedly targeted an isolated apartment building near Milk Project. Armed with iron rods and sticks, they waited in the dark and around 2 am. The main accused Madiya and four others took off their clothes and allegedly entered the apartment wearing only vests and shorts. They allegedly threatened the watchman, entered a house by breaking the lock and stole gold and cash.

Later on the night of December 1, the gang members allegedly attempted theft in a house in Guntupalli village in Ibrahimpatnam in a similar manner but escaped when people woke up to the noises. On the night of December 2, they allegedly broke into three houses in Rainbow Villas in Tadepalli of Guntur district around 1 am but left empty-handed as they couldn’t find any valuables. On December 3 night, they allegedly committed theft from another apartment in Kunchanapalli village, and also stole from a house in a residential colony in Poranki on the night of December 6. They committed these thefts after splitting into two different gangs, and three of them have been arrested so far, police said. Vijayawada police said they seized Rs 20,000 cash, 32 gm gold, and 2.5 kg silver from the accused. Earlier in 2019, a similar gang was busted by the Cyberabad police.