A day after Suresh, the prime accused in the Lalitha Jewellery heist, surrendered in Tiruvannamalai court, the alleged mastermind behind the crime, Murugan, surrendered at a court in Bengaluru on Friday. Murugan was also wanted in a theft case dating back to 2015 in Banaswadi, Bengaluru.
Confirming Murugan’s arrest, a police officer in Banaswadi said that Murugan is an accused in multiple cases in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. After his surrender, the police remanded him to judicial custody.
Murugan and Suresh were the two men allegedly seen in the video of the crime, wearing masks of a cat and a dog. The Trichy police have recovered almost five kilograms of jewellery - out of the 28 kilograms - that the gang had stolen.
The CCTV visuals of the crime, which took place happened on October 2, showed two men - wearing masks of cat and dog - inside the showroom and stealing jewellery worth Rs 12.3 crore. They were seen entering the ground floor of the store. While one man holds a duffle bag, the other one carefully breaks into the jewellery display, removes necklace after necklace displayed on the mannequin and puts it into bag.
The police questioned several of Suresh’s associates and family members. A day after the theft, the Thiruvarur police had spotted Suresh and Manikandan, another history-sheeter, travelling on a bike. The CCTV footage at the checkpost shows the two men speeding away and the police jumping on a bike to chase them. While Suresh managed to jump off the bike and escape, Manikandan was caught by the police.
The police questioned Manikandan and managed to recover 4.25 kilograms of gold from him. According to the police, accused - Suresh and Murugan - are relatives.
Based on the information received on questioning Manikandan, Suresh’s mother Kanagavalli, who is also Murugan’s elder sister, was remanded. The police recovered 450 grams of jewellery from Kanagavalli as well. So far, more than 10 associates and family members of the accused have been questioned by the police in this case.
(With inputs from Prajwal Bhat)