Six panchaloha idols have been stolen from the Srinivasa Perumal temple in Perungudi. The theft occured on Friday and a priest noticed the missing idol when he came to offer prayers on Saturday morning, reports ToI.
The temple's trustee then reportedly instructed the priest to lodge a complaint with the Thoraipakkam police station. A case has been registered and police are trying to use CCTV footage and fingerprints found at the site to identify the culprits. The temple had no security guard and the thieves had broke opened the lock to make away with the valuables.
According to reports, idols stolen include those of Anjaneyar, the main deity Srinivasa Perumal, Narasimhar and Padmavathi Thayar.
At the beginning of this month, police had arrested three persons in Thanjavur district, when they attempted to steal a two-foot Amman idol, from a Mariamman temple.
A four-member gang had planned to steal what they presumed was a panchaloha idol, but their plan was foiled as the villagers caught hold of one of the culprits when they tried to escape.
Over the last year alone, multiple cases of theft in connection to these idols have emerged in Tamil Nadu. In the past idols have been smuggled to dealers in Mumbai and New Delhi before being shipped off to art galleries abroad.