Tirupati: Three months after the theft of three gold crowns from Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple, the Tirupati Urban police have solved the case and arrested a man on Tuesday.
The theft which took place in broad daylight at the temple managed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) on February 2 shocked the authorities. Six special teams of 40 personnel were deployed and 237 CCTV cameras were examined following which the cops arrested the accused, identified as Akash Prathap Sarodi (25), a native of Khandar village in Nanded district in Maharashtra.
The accused was taken into custody by the Tirupati police on Tuesday morning.
Sarodi was nabbed near the Tirupati-Renigunta road when he arrived to retrieve a stolen mobile phone. Already having multiple cases of mobile phone theft in Maharashtra, Nizamabad and Secunderabad filed against him, the accused stayed in the TTD-run accommodation complex on February 2 and stole the crowns adorned to the small deities in the sanctum sanctorum, when the priest was briefly away.
Sarodi later escaped from Tirupati and reached Nanded where he tried to dispose of the golden crowns with his friends. However, with the police teams tracking his movements, he was unable to sell the gold in the form of crowns, instead converted the ornaments into a gold bar and even sold a small portion of the loot.
While the police didn't retrieve the crowns in their original form, they seized gold bars worth approximately Rs 42.35 lakh from the accused.