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Police nab ATM trickster

Staff Reporter

The accused is an engineering student

HYDERABAD: The mystery man behind the recent series of thefts of ATM cards and fraudulent withdrawals of cash was a final year engineering student, the Mahankali police announced on Tuesday.

They arrested G. Vedavyasa, 21, on charge of stealing ATM cards from eight persons after offering to help them withdraw cash. An amount of Rs. 1.20 lakh and Rs. 1.19 lakh worth gold he had purchased using the stolen cards were recovered from him, Mahankali ACP Ranjeet Singh said.

Stolen money

Interestingly, Vedavyas did not spend much of the stolen money. "All that he bought was a pair of trousers worth Rs. 400, a new computer replacing an old one and a mobile phone worth Rs. 10,000," Mr. Singh explained. The cash he withdrew and gold he bought were intact.

He used to hang around ATM centres and approach people having problems in withdrawing cash. On the pretext of helping them, he would take the card, show how it had to be used after asking their PIN code, return it and vanish. "But the trick was that he would keep the customer's card and pass on a different one," he narrated.

Similar fashion

Even more interesting was how he stumbled on the modus operandi. "A stranger duped me in similar fashion four months ago. I started the practice to compensate my own loss, but soon got hooked onto it," he told reporters.

Police took up the case when the youth struck thrice at Mahankali and Karkhana in the first week of December. Descriptions about Vedavyasa given by the victims confirmed that the same person was behind the offences. The first clue came when owners of Tanishq jewellery shop in Secunderbad approached police saying a youngster purchased gold from them using a stolen ATM card.

A dragnet was spread for the trickster and when he walked into the jewellery shop again on Monday, he was caught by the plainclothes policemen. A native of Nellore, the accused had been living in a rented house in Neredmet.

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