A woman corporator was arrested by Upparpet police on Tuesday for shoplifting from an apparel store in Sukh Sagar Mall in Gandhinagar.
HS Lalitha, 40, of the BJP, represents the Girinagar ward (ward no. 162), where she also lives. Upparpet police said they arrested her based on a complaint lodged by Ashoka, the owner of Ashoka Apparels.
According to the complaint, the accused had been shopping at the store, where she chose five pieces of clothing and took them into the dressing room to try. A few minutes later, she emerged from the room and told a salesman, identified as Ram, that she did not like any of the clothes, but did not return them. When he couldn’t find them in the dressing room, a heated argument ensued and the corporator finally agreed to be physically checked by a female staff member. Four of the missing clothes were found to be hidden under her outfit. “The staff later bro-ught her to the police station. The final missing piece of clot-hing was found by a woman constable. We have registered a case of theft under Section 380 of the IPC and arrested her,” ACP (Chikpet sub-division) AB Rajendra Kumar said. She will soon be produced before a magistrate, an investigating officer said. Kumar said the police were shocked to find a corporator trying to steal clothes that are worth Rs 5,000 in total. Employees at the shop told police that when caught red-handed, Lalitha had offered them Rs 10,000 to let her go.
The complainant, Ashoka, also alleged Lalitha had stolen three tops from the store a few months ago, but there is no evidence to support the claim.