CHENNAI: It was a unique problem for the Kodungaiyur police. Investigating a series of burglaries at shops in the locality 10 days ago, they obtained security camera footage of two suspects, but found they were hearing and speech challenged. Investigators now have roped in sign language experts to interrogate the duo and get information about the rest of the gang. On October 1, a gang of burglars had struck at 10 shops, including electrical goods showrooms, eateries and stores selling laptops, along a stretch in Kodungaiyur, breaking the shutters of all but managing to only enter three.They escaped with Rs.47,000.
Soon after the crime came to light and the police alerted, a case was registered. A team of police officers arrived at the spot and found that all the shutters had been broken into in a similar manner, strengthening the suspicion that one gang was involved. Realizing that the style was that of a professional burglar or burglars, police started looking into the role of previous offenders and were scanning closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage from the spot when they saw the 2 hearing and speech challenged men.
The two men, who appeared to be in their 30s, were soon picked up, but the police officers realized they would not be able to get any information from them and have brought in sign language specialists to help them.
Preliminary inquiries with the residents of the area from where they had been picked up the suspects showed that the two were from Andhra Pradesh. They had been seen frequently taking the help of people in the neighborhood for vehicles and tools like crowbar.
Police suspect they may have been involved in many previous cases as they were part of a gang that had broke open a series of shops in a single night. The gang members, the two suspects told sign language experts, they moved around the area late in the evenings and took note of the timings when the shops were closed. They would return later with the others and attempt to break in, it was found.
According to Police, Nagaraj, a previous offender with a long record of crime, was part of the gang of burglars. The involvement of more people were likely to come to light after Nagaraj was picked up and questioned, adding that investigators were also talking to three more people in this connection.
“We are yet to know if the two men who have been picked up were directly involved in the series of offences or if they were merely helping those directly involved after they were promised a share of the booty,” told a police officer.