The Visakhapatnam police on Thursday busted a massive bike stealing gang, with the arrest of a person who worked as an assistant mechanic at a garage in Parawada. The police said that the accused stole two-wheelers from various places across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and investigation officials recovered a staggering 130 bikes.
The arrest of the main accused, identified as 37-year-old Veeraiah Chowdary who hails from Prakasam district, led to 16 others being held for helping him in dismantling or selling the stolen vehicles and parts, the police said.
The investigation officials also seized five engines, spare parts, fake number plates, duplicate keys, besides Rs 90,000 in cash.
Police said that Chowdary had committed crimes across the state, including Vijayawada, Kurnool, Prakasam, Rajahmundry and Guntur, besides Hyderabad and areas of erstwhile Medak, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts in Telangana.
Media reports suggest that he migrated to Visakhapatnam in 2011, where he continued his operations.
“Chowdary was allegedly involved in the theft of 47 bikes reported from Gajuwaka area, 40 from Viskahapatnam Steel Plant area, 26 from Anakapalle town and many others from Duvvada, Parawada, Atchutapuram and other places in the district,” City Police Commissioner R K Meena told reporters.
Explaining his modus operandi, Meena said that the accused confessed to using duplicate keys to pick the lock of bikes, which were slightly old and were not being monitored by CCTV cameras. He largely targeted areas on the outskirts of the city and would evade surveillance while riding away with the vehicle, the police said.
He would then swap the number plates and even punch fake chassis numbers with the help of the other accused, the investigation officials said.
Police said that a case has been registered and further investigation is ongoing. The accused was presented in front of a local magistrate and sent to judicial remand.