BENGALURU: Two truck drivers plotted to steal onions by claiming that 81 onion sacks worth Rs 9 lakh and weighing 4,700kg they were transporting to Chennai were carted away by onlookers minutes after the vehicle fell into a ditch in the wee hours of Friday. The duo and three of their accomplices have been arrested for stage-managing the accident and siphoning off the produce.
An alert woman sub-inspector of Tavarekere police in
smelt something fishy on Friday night when she found a truck in a roadside ditch near Yaragunteswara Nagar near Sira.
She was told by the crew that more than half of their onion load had been stolen. The cop was on
and remembered that there was no truck there when she passed by half an hour earlier.
“Mahalakshmamma HN questioned the two drivers and they confessed to the crime. The duo told police they had unloaded 81 sacks of onions in
, and shifted them to another vehicle to transport them to Yeshwanthpur market in Bengaluru,” a senior police officer said.
The drivers, Santosh Kumar R (23) and Chetan M (24) admitted to intentionally driving into the the roadside ditch. They were arrested along with onion trader Sheikh Ali (60) and his sons Buden Sab (35), and Dadapeer (40). All the five are residents of Hiriyur.
Police said truck owner Chetan (19), who is the main suspect, is on the run. Preliminary probe revealed that Chetan resorted to the theft drama to clear pending instalments of his vehicle loan. “He hatched a plan to steal onions and took the help of his two drivers and businessman Ali. Chetan was also planning to claim insurance to repair his truck,” an investigating officer said.
A case was registered against the gang based on a complaint filed by
Kumar (35), a farmer from Huchavanahalli village in Davanagere district.
According to Ananda, he and a few of his relatives had grown onions and decided to sell the produce in Chennai market. They hired a truck from BK Transport in Challakere for transportation.
“The drivers picked up the load around 9.30pm on November 5. There were 173 sacks of onions weighing 10,270kg in the truck. Santosh called me around 3.17am on Friday to tell me the truck had toppled due to technical problems and I reached there by 4.20am,” Ananda claimed.