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Trucker ferrying onions plots theft to pay vehicle’s EMI

December 09, 2019 06:22 AM



Two truck drivers plotted to steal onions by claiming that 81onion sacks worth Rs 9lakh and weighing 4,700kg they were transporting to Chennai were carted away by onlookers minutes after the vehicle fell into a ditch in the wee hours of Friday. The duo and three of their accomplices have been arrested for stage-managing the accident and siphoning off the produce.

An alert woman sub-inspector of Tavarekere police smelt something fishy on Friday when she found a truck in a roadside ditch. She was told by the crew that more than half of their onion load had been stolen. She was on night patrol and remembered that there was no truck there when she passed by half an hour earlier.

“Mahalakshmamma HN questioned the two drivers and they confessed to the crime. They told police they had unloaded 81sacks of onions in Hiriyur and shifted them to another vehicle to transport them to a market in the city,” a police officer said.

The drivers, Santosh Kumar R, 23 and Chetan M, 24, admitted to intentionally driving into the ditch. They were arrested along with onion trader Sheikh Ali, 60 and his two sons. Police said truck owner Chetan, 19, who is the main suspect, is on the run. Preliminary probe revealed that Chetan resorted to the theft drama to clear pending instalments of his vehicle loan. “He hatched a plan to steal onions and took the help of his drivers and Ali. Chetan was also planning to claim insurance to repair his truck,” an investigating officer said.

A case was registered against the gang based on a complaint filed by Ananda Kumar, 35, a farmer from Davanagere. According to Ananda, he and a few of his relatives had grown onions and decided to sell the produce in Chennai. “The drivers picked up the load on November 5. There were 173 sacks of onions in the truck. Santosh called me on Friday to tell me the truck had toppled due to technical problems,” he claimed.

Tavarekere police contacted the driver of the other truck transporting the stolen onions, who drove back and returned the produce to police. Cops took permission from the court and returned the onions to its cultivators on Saturday.


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