Tirupati Urban SP says recovered gold is worth ₹42.35 lakh

The Tirupati Urban police have solved the case pertaining to the theft of three small crowns from a sub-shrine in Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple managed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), nearly three months after the incident happened.

CCTV footage

Even as the news on the theft in broad daylight at a TTD temple located in the heart of the city sent shock waves all over, Superintendent of Police (Tirupati Urban) K.K.N. Anburajan pressed six special teams into service and sent them across the country, with the help of footage from 237 CCTV cameras. The effort bore fruit as the crucial leads led the cops to the accused Akash Prathap Sarodi (25), hailing from Nanded in Maharashtra.

Sarodi was arrested by the police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Crime) R. Ravisankar Reddy on Renigunta Road here on Tuesday, when he returned to Tirupati from his native place, supposedly for the sake of a stolen mobile. A regular offender having several cases of mobile phone theft in Maharashtra and also in Nizamabad and Secunderabad police limits of Telangana, he had visited Tirupati on February 2, stayed in the TTD-run accommodation complex and visited the temple a couple of times, before laying his hand on the crowns adorned to the small deities in the sanctum sanctorum, when the priest was briefly away.

After the theft, the accused calmly sneaked out of the temple area, reached Renigunta railway station and boarded Venkatadri Express to reach Kacheguda. He reached Nanded the next day and tried to dispose of the golden crowns with his friends.

“As our teams were on the prowl tracking his movements, he could not sell them away, though he did melt the crowns,” Mr. Anburajan told the media on Tuesday after producing Sarodi. The recovered gold, though not in the form of crowns, is worth ₹42.35 lakh.

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