Habitual offender D Ravi,44,who was arrested on December 9 for stealing ATM cards belonging to former India athlete Ashwini Nachappa at an athletic meet for the disabled at the Jayanagar grounds on December 3 and withdrawing Rs 2.4 lakh from her bank accounts,also stole ATM cards of a singer at a public event in the city in October and Rs 50,000 awarded by former external affairs minister S M Krishna to another singer at Indiranagar Club in February,probe has revealed.
The police have urged people who may have lost money or valuables at public events in the city to come forward.
DCP (south) H S Revanna said they were expecting more cases against Ravi,who would attend high-profile events disguised as the organiser or a VIP to steal. The well-dressed thief,who was an agent for private bus operators,robbed people to indulge in a gambling addiction.
The Kempegowda Nagar police registered a case Tuesday after singer Smitha Vasanth lodged a complaint that Ravi stole her bag at a public event on October 7 and shared CCTV footage of him using her debit cards to shop.
Meanwhile,the Indiranagar police sought to question Ravi in connection with the theft of Rs 50,000 awarded by Krishna to singer Balasubramanya at Indiranagar Club on February 7.
The thief was on the stage at the event posing as a VIP. He allegedly took away the gifts showered on the singer,including flowers,fruits and an envelope containing cash.
While Ravi left the flowers and fruits in the car of Balasubramanya,he allegedly made away with the envelope. The organisers of the event were later alerted about the missing money by the singer and lodged a police complaint.
The Indiranagar police,who had collected CCTV footage of the function,took a relook at it following the arrest of Ravi and identified him.
The accused is still in the custody of the Jayanagar police. We will take him in our custody, an Indiranagar police officer said.
Singer-musician Smitha told the Kempegowda Nagar police that Rs 4,000 and five ATM cards were stolen from her bag at a musical programme at Udayabhanu Kala Sangha on October 7. She had lodged a complaint that day itself but nothing happened.
Smitha said it was probably Ravi who stole her cards and cash. She said he made purchases amounting to Rs 13,018 before she could block the debit cards.
The police said the accused could not withdraw money in this case as unlike Nachappa,Smita had not written her PINs on the back of her cards.
The police have also found that Ravi stole Rs 65,000 from a guest at a religious function at Yagna Mandir near Shankar Mutt two months ago. The Shankarpuram police who registered the case have approached the Jayanagar police for permission to question the accused.
Ravi,who hails from Mysore,would invite himself to weddings and public functions and target unattended valuables. After stealing ATM cards of Nachappa,he withdrew Rs 2.4 lakh from her accounts and splurged around Rs 50,000 at the Mysore race course over the weekend. Rs 1.97 lakh was recovered after CCTV footage from the ATMs helped the police arrest Ravi.