ATM Theft Interrogation Leads To 5-member Vijayawada Gang Arrest Wanted For 6 Murders

 - Sakshi Post

VIJAYAWADA: Vijayawada Police on Thursday arrested a gang of five youth  who were said to have robbed and murdered six elderly persons across Penamaluru and Kanchikacherla PS limits in Krishna district. 

Addressing the media on Friday, Vijayawada Commissioner of Police B Sreenivasulu said the accused were identified as Velpuri Prabhakar Kumar (22), Sunkara Gopi Raju (22) of Poranki, Ponamala Chakravarthy alias Chakri (21), Moram Naga Durga Rao alias Chanti (21) of Tadigadapa and Maddhi Phanindra Kumar (20) of Kamayya Thopu. 

The murders came to light after they were caught while trying to steal from an ATM centre in Penamaluru.

 After examining the CCTV footage in the ATM, the police found two of the accused recognized two of them to be old offenders and arrested them. 

During interrogation, it was revealed they were involved in four more unreported murders of elderly persons in Penamaluru PS limits including the double murder of an elderly couple at Kanchikacherla PS limits.  From October 2020 to June 2021, the accused have committed six murders in five cases and were also involved in 12 other offences such as robberies and thefts,” he said. 

The CP explained that the accused would conduct a  recce of the houses that they would target and they would primarily target elderly and senior citizens. They would only steal jewellry worn by the victims and whatever cash they could lay hands on from the houses, he said while explaining their modus operandi. They would target houses with doors on either side of the house and they would enter the house at midnight without causing any suspicion. They would commit the murders to make it look like a natural death and plotted to commit murder like a natural death, with the intention that the family members will not have any suspicion and that those who died during the corona time would be buried quickly.

The family members of the deceased were under the assumption that they had died of natural causes and hence did not lodge a complaint with the police as there were no injuries on the body. However, the killings came to light after the investigation into the ATM theft case. The fingerprints of the accused were collected and compared with the fingerprints found at other places in the district and it was revealed that they had killed an elderly couple in Kanchipuram. Later, an in-depth investigation revealed the crimes committed within the Penamaluru police station.

The first murder was committed in October 2020 at the Penamaluru police station. Nalini (58), a woman living alone in Vishnupuram colony in Poranki village, was killed and her gold jewellry was stolen.

The second murder took place in November 2020 within the same police station. Sitamahalakshmi (63), a resident of Poranki village near Tumula Center, was killed.

An elderly couple Nageswara Rao (80) and Pramilarani (75) were murdered in December 2020 in Kanchikacharla, Krishna district at midnight and stealing jewelry from their dung.

In the month of January 2021, a woman named Thalluru Dhanalakshmi (58) was killed while living alone at Thadigadapa Karmikanagar Katta in the Penamaluru zone.

Also in March, they broke into a house of a man named Malleshwara Rao in Thadigadapa Karmikanagar at midnight and stole gold jewellry and a cellphone from his house.

In June this year, an old woman named Papamma (85), who was living alone near the post office in Poranki village, was killed and her jewellry stolen.

A total of six people were killed and about 40 tolas of gold jewelry were recovered in these five cases, he said.

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