A ‘shoddy job’ landed a young mobile phone thief in trouble, as almost immediately after fleeing with four phones, he failed to switch them off and instead, kept answering video calls.
The cell phone thief escaped with four cell phones belonging to workers near Jayalalithaa memorial. Police identified one of the men as K Vellaiyappan, of Krishnagiri district, an earthmover operator working on the memorial. He, along with four other drivers, Vellaiyappan, Mohan, Karthik and Lingeshwaran were staying in a makeshift tent.
Police said around 3 am on Thursday, the group found four cell phones belonging to them and two other labourers missing from the tent. They borrowed a mobile phone from their friend and made a video call at 4 am on Thursday to another victim, Lingeshwaran’s mobile phone. To their surprise, he answered the call without knowing that his image was being captured by the callers. They took a screen shot of him wearing a red t-shirt, a chain, an ear stud. He had a black bag and was standing on Egmore Railway station.
The four others and their site engineer Balamurugan immediately reached the railway station. The next call he attended was at 5 pm. The group realised he was travelling on the train.
Later at 7 pm, when they made the next call, the thief had turned the camera away from him and a textile showroom located on Ranganathan street, T Nagar, flashed on the screen. They reached the shop and found Lingeshwaran negotiating with a shop owner trying to sell off the mobile phones.
When the suspect saw the group, he tried to flee but he was overpowered and taken to Marina in an auto rickshaw. He was later handed over to the police who recovered six mobile phones him.