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Man selling stolen vehicles on OLX caught red-handed

The city police arrested a 39-year-old man, who sold stolen two-wheelers on online marketplaces using documents of other vehicles after tampering their chassis numbers, was arrested in the city.

Man selling stolen vehicles on OLX caught red-handed
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Ramesh of Korattur, a diploma holder, confessed that he stole and sold more than 25 two-wheelers

Chennai

A few months ago, the Villivakkam police received two vehicle theft complaints and launched a hunt for the suspect with the help of CCTV footage. On Sunday, a team led by Inspector Shanthi Devi caught him in the act. Interrogation revealed how he mastered the art of the tampering the chassis number of the stolen vehicles.

The accused, identified as B Ramesh (39) of Korattur, a diploma holder in mechanical engineering, was initially into buying and selling used vehicles. However, as he did not each much profit and was desperate to make a quick buck to get married, Ramesh decided to steal vehicles. Finding it difficult to fabricate fake documents, he learnt to remove the chassis numbers through YouTube videos.

After investing in the necessary tools, Ramesh claimed that he managed to steal and sell more than 25 two-wheelers in a year. Explaining his modus operandi, inspector Shanthi Devi said he would first steal original vehicle documents from parked two-wheelers which can be easily unlocked. Then, he would look for matching two-wheelers that were left by absentminded owners with the keys on and steal them.

“Later, he would erase the chassis number and print the chassis number in the original document. He would give it a coat of paint if required and post an advertisement on OLX. To the buyers, he would give a fake Transfer of Ownership (TO) form as if signed by the owner. As the chassis number on the vehicle and the documents match, they would not suspect him. Also, as most of them do not immediately change the ownership of vehicles, they will not realise that they have been cheated,” the inspector said.

To cut costs and avoid suspicion, Ramesh chose residential areas to park the stolen vehicles instead of railway station parking lots. And after each sale, he discarded the SIM card so that the victim cannot reach him again.

With his inputs, the police recovered 12 two-wheelers. A drilling machine, die used for changing chassis numbers, paint boxes, tools, two original RC books, TO forms and 10 SIM cards of various service providers were seized from him.

Ramesh was remanded in judicial custody on Sunday and police are planning to take him into custody again to recover more vehicles that he had sold in the past.

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