Thiruvananthapuram: In a amajor breakthrough, the Thiruvananthapuram Police have arrested a man from Tamil Nadu who had come to be known as the “naked thief”.
Identified as 28-year-old Edwin Jose, the man from Aarudesam in Kanyakumari, would strip himself down completely, drench himself in black paint and just don an underwear on his head to keep his identity hidden, before barging into houses on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.
According to reports the man is believed to have broken into more than 25 homes in Neyyattinkara, Parassala and neighbouring areas on a motorbike which he had stolen before.
“The bikes keep changing as he steals one vehicle for the night, leaves it there and steals another one to escape getting caught,” The News Minute quoted a senior police officer as saying.
The “naked-thief” armed himself with a wire cutter and break into homes through the rear doors – often stealing cash and jewellery laying around the house, say police.
“Cutting tools were used to take gold chains from sleeping women. In case they woke up and made a noise, he would attack them and flee into the darkness outside. His exploits gave sleepless nights to people residing in villages located close to the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border,” a police officer said.
Panicked residents even formed vigilante groups to take him down. In many instances, innocent people that drew suspicions of locals were beaten up, say police.
The accused was eventually identified by CCTV footage taken from a home he broke into in Kerala’s Nedumangad. Soon after this, District Police Chief (Thiruvananthapuram rural) P Asok Kumar formed a probe team.
Reports said Edwin is a law student, studying in a college in Cheruvarakonam near Kanyakumari, and reportedly lived in a lodge in the area. Police suspect that he is involved in several thefts around Neyattinkara region.
“There are around 6 cases against him in Vellarada, 3 cases here in Puzhiyoor, 1 in Parassala, 1 case in Marayamuttom and many others in Neytattinkara. There are many cases of theft registered against him in Tamil Nadu as well,” police confirmed.
Edwin has been remanded in judicial custody and further investigations on the thefts are yet to take place, police confirmed.