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Pickpockets have a field day

With crowded RTC buses coming in handy, pickpockets are striking at will, thus posing a new challenge to the police, says Marri Ramu

Even as the police are grappling with `attention diversion' cases, pickpockets are posing a fresh challenge by striking at will in APSRTC buses.

A businessman of Nalgonda, R. Narasimha, who boarded a bus at Liberty on Thursday, lost Rs. 3 lakhs after thieves cut a hole in his handbag.

"It is not known whether an organised gang is behind such thefts in RTC buses," a police officer says.

`Local' angle?

Role of local offenders is not confirmed either. The police, however, believe that the offences are handiwork of a specific gang, considering repeated incidence of such crimes.

On October 29 thieves targeted six passengers, including a Russian tourist, Robert Andy, in different places. Incidentally, not a single case of the six offences has been detected. While detectives began looking out for pocket pickers, offenders surprised them by taking away ornaments from women passengers travelling in Osmania University campus-Tarnaka stretch in two separate incidents.

This had confused the police further as there was no clue whether the same gang or a different gang was involved. On October 19 offenders took away Rs. 55,000 in cash from the bag of a photographer, G. Chandrashekhar while the latter was travelling in a bus at Nampally. The same day a resident of Jawaharnagar, Mohd. Zohr, lost Rs. 36,210 when his trousers pocket was picked at Rathifile bus stop.

Except for the busting of a three-member gang in July, the police are clueless. It is suspected that at least three members are involved in these crimes.

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