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A group of habitual offenders from Tirunelveli district involved in the crimes
The robbers sold the booty in local markets at throwaway prices
MADURAI: Government schools in Madurai and Virudhunagar districts seem to be soft targets for robbers. Since October this year, 12 cases of robbery have been reported from government high schools and higher secondary schools, police said.
Equipment in the computer laboratories such as laptops, computers, DVD players, colour television sets and amplifier boxes were reported missing. Though there are many factors for schools being targeted, the absence of a watchman at night and during school holidays had come in handy for the robbers.
A police officer said that in a government school at Keelavalavu in Madurai district, seven computers and a colour television set among others valued Rs. 1 lakh were stolen. As the school closed on October 9 and reopened on October 12, unidentified persons had gained entry into the premises and fled with the goods. Fingerprints were lifted from the scene of crime and the case is under investigation.
In Virudhunagar district, the police had received complaints from schools at Aruppukottai, Virudhunagar East, Srivilliputtur Town, Kariapatti and Sivakasi East. Investigations revealed that a group of habitual offenders from neighbouring Tirunelveli district had committed the crime. Police had not only recovered properties, but also arrested a few accused in the gang. Based on their confessions, the police learnt that that the robbers had sold the booty in local markets at throwaway prices.
A school principal said that they funds were not available for employing a watchman and hoped that the police would recover the lost properties soon since practical classes were being affected due to the missing computers.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (Madurai Range) P. Balasubramanian told The Hindu that they had taken stock of schools which did not have night watchman and stepped up security arrangements in those locations.
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