Saturday, March 5, 2011

30 bikes stolen in just two months from Race Course

COIMBATORE: Motorbikes are increasingly vanishing from the Government General Hospital campus and the adjoining Race Course area in the city. In the last two months, 30 motor cycles all of them TVS XL Super bikes have been stolen from the hospital complex and the roadsides within the Race Course police station limit.

"As many as 30 bikes have been reported stolen in the last two months. We have formed a special team to nab the bike thieves," the Race Course police inspector P.Periyasamy told TOI.

Why do thieves target a particular brand of bikes? According to the police official, it is "easier to unlock these vehicles with master keys and sell them off in rural areas with fake number plates and registration certificates". Also, they fetch a better price in the market.

At least 20 of the bikes have been stolen in and around the Government General Hospital campus. But the police are still clueless about the thieves, who are repeatedly striking in localities within the Race Course police limits. Last few years, the bike thieves' target was the Hero Honda Splendour, which also opens easily with master keys, say the police.

In November 2010, the police nabbed two men who had allegedly stolen 42 motor cycles in three months and zipped away to their native Salem. The main accused, K.Baladhandayuthapani from Othakkalmandapam near Coimbatore, teamed up with R.Shiva of Mecheri in Salem, who was an expert in opening the locks in motorcycles, and the duo went on a stealing spree, according to the police. However, CCTVs in the parking lot recorded them. "They were Hero Honda Splendour specialists. After their arrest, theft of the Hero Honda bikes have come down. But now another gang is targeting TVS XL," said a police official. Last year, 145 motor cycles were stolen, but 129 vehicles were recovered and only 16 are still missing. In December 2009, police nabbed "Bike" Kumar alias P.Rajkumar, who allegedly stole over 60 Hero Honda bikes.

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