A teashop worker, stranded in a village near Coimbatore during the lockdown, stole a motorbike to take his family home. About two weeks later, on May 29, he had the motorbike delivered back to the owner, said police officers.
According to an officer at Sulur police station, the theft took place on May 18, when the man, Prashanth, wanted to take his wife and two children to his native place near Mannargudi in Thanjavur.
The bike’s owner, Suresh Kumar, runs a lathe workshop at Kannampalayam near Sulur, about 20 km from Coimbatore town. “Kumar had some pending work at his workshop that day. As usual, he parked the bike outside and was working inside the building. When he came out in the afternoon, his bike was missing,” said the officer.
A source close to Kumar said he approached the local police station on the same day. “But the case wasn’t registered as officers were busy with lockdown duty,” the source said.
As the lockdown was supposed to end on May 21, Kumar went to the owner of a nearby building two days later, to check the CCTV footage in the hope of getting a clue about the theft. The camera footage showed a man, clad in shirts and pants and without footwear, fleeing with his bike.
“Someone in the locality identified the culprit as Prashanth, a man who had been working in two tea shops in the area for the past two years. They went to the house where he stayed in the village. But he had vacated home and left for his native place with his family,” said the source close to Kumar.
In the days that followed, Kumar’s several calls and efforts to trace Prashanth in Mannargudi, about 300 km from Sulur, were in vein, officers said.
On May 29 afternoon, Kumar received a call from a nearby private parcel service. When he visited the office, he was surprised to see his bike parcelled to the address given in his vehicle Registration Certificate (RC). However, Kumar had to pay Rs 1,400 as luggage and packaging charges before he received the bike.
While Kumar said he doesn’t want to pursue the case further, the reason for this decision was his fear that the police may take away his bike if they register a case and probe it afresh.
Even as no case was registered till Sunday, a sub-inspector of Sulur police station said they were checking about Kumar’s complaint. He said Prashanth had returned the bike after he received information that his role in the theft case was being probed with evidence.
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