Thiruvananthapuram: A probe into a gold heist in the city on Saturday midnight helped the cops to bust a honeytrap racket which executed an uncommon 'scheme' to target men on the road at night. Thiruvallom Police said that though the gang likely exploited eight people, none of the victims has come forward so far with a complaint, thus emboldening the fraudsters to continue their activity.
The same band had waylaid two persons from Tamil Nadu before stealing their gold jewellery, the police said.
The turning point in the investigation came with the discovery of a lost mobile phone.
The probe revealed that some gang members, including a woman, would travel in an autorickshaw. When a likely victim is found alone around midnight in the city, the gang would lure him into the autorickshaw with the offer of taking him to a room with the woman. Police said that the gang called this method ‘scheme’.
Most incidents took place on the Karamana-Balaramapuram national highway, Kazhakkoottam-Kovalam bypass and other deserted stretches. While the target and two gang members would travel in the auto, the other two gangsters would intercept them and act as moral police. Threats would follow. Cash, gold and other valuable items would be snatched and the victim was thrown out of the auto.
Two arrests so far
The police recorded the arrest of the second person in the heist case. He is Muhammed Jijas (30) of Paruthikkuzhi.
Usha (42) was arrested earlier. She had taken a house on rent at Palappooru in the city. She belongs to Theepollavu House, near Kadakkavur police station.
The police have also launched a manhunt for the other two members of the gang who used to travel on a bike.
They have been identified and an arrest is imminent, said the Thiruvallom police.
The autorickshaw they used in the crime was seized by the police. Officers also found a stolen mobile phone from the duo.
The case is being investigated by a team that includes Fort Assistant Commissioner R Prathapan Nair, Thiruvallom SHO Aiswarya Prasanth Dongre, Sub-Inspectors S Vimal, Ayub Khan and CPO Sunil.
The attack on the Tamil Nadu natives took place near Vandithadom Junction after midnight on Saturday. The victims were Aneesh Kumar and Abhishek belonging to Kulasekharam in Tamil Nadu.
Travelling in an autorickshaw and bike, the gang allegedly blocked and slapped them. A gold chain weighing 2.25 sovereigns and a mobile phone were stolen, said the police.