Pune: The Mundhwa police have busted a 14-member ‘itching powder’ gang of Andhra Pradesh, which was on the prowl and was involved in various robberies across the city. The police have recovered 14 cell phones, seven motorcycles, itching powder, chilli powder, choppers and cash amounting to Rs 4,46,440 from them.
The gang was arrested by the sleuths of Mundhwa police station on Saturday from a location at Keshavnagar on Manjri Road. Itching powder spray gang, which has attained notoriety for robbing people across the city by using itching powder, had remained on the loose for three months.
The gang used to spray itching powder on their victims before looting them. They have looted people in various areas of the city including Hadapsar, Mundhwa, Wanawadi, Kondhwa, Chandan Nagar, Viman Nagar, Bhosari MIDC and the areas under the jurisdiction of Pune rural police. They have also committed robberies in Thane city and rural as well as in various towns/cities of Tamil Nadu
Out of the 14 accused, 12 are from Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, one is from Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu and one is from Chennai.
The accused have been identified as Chinna Kunchalla, Madhav Gogla, Rajesh Gogla, Challa Sunny Yeliya Salla, Santosh Ramalur, Rakesh Aawla, Yeshubu Gogla, Uttjal Aawala, Subhash Wanalu and others. The police said that the prime accused Kunchalla and Madhav Gogla run two different gangs, who came together while committing their acts of crime. They have carried out robberies in various cities and states.
According to the police, the itching powder gang used to carry out reconnaissance before looting their victims. They used to enter the banks on the pretext of depositing or withdrawing money and keep an eye on the people who are withdrawing money. If they found someone withdrawing a large amount of money, they used to target that person. If there were two persons together, they used to separate them by saying that they (targets) have forgotten something in the bank or someone is calling them inside. Once the person goes inside the bank, they would attack the single target.
They snatched the bags of their targets if they were carrying the bags in their hand; if somebody had cross bags, they then spray itching powder on their neck so that the victim takes it out and becomes an easy prey for the robbers.