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Burglar ‘Rodman’ wanted in 68 housebreaks in T.N. arrested in Coimbatore; aide, wife held at Rajapalayam

Burglar Moorthy aka ‘Rodman’ and his gang members captured by a surveillance camera of a house.
| Photo Credit: SPL

The Coimbatore City Police on Wednesday arrested Moorthy, 36, of Periyakulam in Theni, who along with six aides took away a whopping 1,500 sovereigns of jewellery and ₹1.76 crore in cash in at least 68 house-break thefts across Tamil Nadu since 2020.

He earned the nickname ‘Rodman’ in the police circle as he used an iron rod as his main tool to break open houses, mainly the ones situated close to railway tracks. R. Stalin, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore north, told journalists that Moorthy and one of his aides Amsaraj, 26, also from Periyakulam, were arrested from Coimbatore based on specific information.

“He and his gang members left no trace during house break-ins as they wore masks and gloves. They chose railway tracks to approach houses and escape, mainly to avoid CCTVs. The police had developed a sketch of Moorthy with the available footages,” the DCP said.

According to the officer, the Rajapalayam police arrested Moorthy’s wife, Priya, and another aide, namely Suresh. The wife was held for her role in handling the loot, with which Moorthy bought a mill worth over ₹4 crore at Rajapalayam and developed the property into plots for sale. The couple also purchased 53 cents of land worth over ₹1 crore near Rajapalayam bus stand, he said.

In Coimbatore alone, Moorthy, a graduate who took up other jobs till 2020, and his gang members were involved in 18 house break-ins, in which a total of 376 sovereigns of jewellery were stolen. They were also involved in two house break-ins at Rajapalayam and Oddanchatram, in which nearly 500 sovereigns each were stolen.

The last known burglary by the gang in Coimbatore was at the house of a businessman at Burhani Colony near railway tracks at Peelamedu in February this year, when they decamped with around ₹10 lakh, more than 35 sovereigns of gold and diamond jewellery and other valuables.

“All the 68 house break-ins were from 2020. They travelled on buses and never used their vehicles for thefts. They were involved in house break-ins in Peelamedu, Singanallur, Ramanathapuram and Thudiyalur police station limits in Coimbatore, where houses are located near railway tracks. We are on the lookout for four accomplices, all from Theni and some of them, relatives of Moorthy. Two cars, six two-wheelers, including a ₹13 lakh worth superbike, and 63 sovereigns of jewellery have been seized,” said Mr. Stalin.

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