City cop’s unconventional method helps woman get ‘thali’ back

After narrowing down the suspects to 11 people - the victim’s co-workers, Egmore Inspector (crime), Esakki Pandian asked them to enter a room one by one and return after two minutes.
Police handing over the gold ‘thali’ back to Usha, a government urban primary health centre worker
Police handing over the gold ‘thali’ back to Usha, a government urban primary health centre worker

CHENNAI: Breaking no sweat, a Chennai Police Inspector retrieved a gold chain stolen from a government urban primary health centre worker in Pudupet last Saturday by using an unconventional method.

After narrowing down the suspects to 11 people - the victim’s co-workers, Egmore Inspector (crime), Esakki Pandian asked them to enter a room one by one and return after two minutes.

He also told them that if anyone among them had stolen the five sovereign gold chain shall place it back to not face a formal arrest. As it happened, the stolen chain was found in a bag in the room.

On Friday (December 16), Usha (48) an office assistant at the Pudupet Urban primary health centre lied down for a nap around 3 pm. When she woke up, she found that her gold thali chain (41 grams) was missing and filed a complaint with the Egmore police.

A team led by Inspector Esakki Pandian reached the scene and conducted investigations. “The working hours of the PHC is from 7 am to 2 pm. After that, except for the PHC staff, no patients had entered the building, which we confirmed through enquiry and by verifying the CCTV footage,” Inspector Esakki Pandian told DT Next.

This reduced the suspects’ list considerably and the Inspector decided that he can employ a tactic that he had used twice before to retrieve stolen gold in similar cases in his career.

“The catch here is the suspects are government workers and in case of an arrest, it is going to be a black mark on their career with suspension and possible dismissal from service. I conveyed the message in as many words to the eleven people who were zeroed in as suspects,” Esakki Pandian recalled.

The next day, on police’s instructions, the eleven people went into a room in the PHC and after everyone completed the drill, the gold chain was found in one of the bags in the room. Senior police officers handed over the retrieved gold chain to the victim, who broke down in front of the officers. Police said that Usha did not wish to proceed with her complaint.

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