A gang of rogues operating in the Mattakkuliya area, mostly during the daytime, have been successful in 25 thefts within an area of less than a square kilometre last year, the total value of the stolen items was almost Rupees Seven Million, victims told The Island.
The stolen items include a pick-up valued at Rupees Four Million and a large quantity of jewellery, cash, VCDs, Music set-ups and other domestic equipment. The increase in such incidents began around Mid 2003 and the most recent incident was during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in 2005.
In two of the above instances, the Modera Police have successfully recovered jewellery valued at Rs. 400,000 where the matter is before courts while in another, a suspect is in police custody and efforts are being made to recover the stolen items, a resident said.
The robberies occurred at No. 17, Centre Road, Mattakkuliya and No. 71, St. Mary?s Road, Colombo 15 respectively. They were committed in February 2005 and April 15, 2005, according to information available.
The major segment of the robberies are yet to be solved and even through the residents of the area are satisfied with the initial efforts of the police, the incidents remain unresolved due to an inadequate number of officers who could be released for continuous surveillance of the area for a number of weeks, they added.
The list is long and disturbing and merits priority attention said Ms Ramya Rajapakse of 27/8 Nara Road, Crow Island who home was broken into around 2.20 p.m. on March 31, 2005. She lost a Digital Camera, Radio Set-up, Gold Chain, Bracelet and Pendent valued at Rs. 220,000.
At premises No. 25/1, Crow Island, thieves removed a Deck, 2 Clocks, Gold Cufflings valued at Rs. 23,000. This took place on April 4, 2005.
A theft of cash amounting to Rs. 30,000 was stolen on March 23, 2005 from premises 73/1/1 Vystwyke Road.
The residents of premises No. 65/118B had to face three instances of thefts on March 22, April 3 and April 14, all in 2005 and lost the electronic sensor of their van, valued at Rs. 150,000. However they have been too frightened to report the theft to the Police due to repercussions from the suspects.
On March 5, 2005, Premises No. 73/1 was robbed of an over valued at Rs. 5,500. This occurred at about 2.30 p.m., said the occupant Rexteine. Two weeks prior to this robbery, he had also lost two decks, this time it had occurred around 7.30 a.m. from premises No. 159, Vystwyke Road.
Thieves got away with Rs. 35,000 worth of jewellery on May 10, 2003 and later an January 12, 2004, a double cab 53-2283 valued at Rs. 4 million as stolen. The van parked at No. 155, Vystwyke Road, would nearly have been stolen on April 13, 2005, but the thieves were disturbed and they fled the scene. The steering lock of the van prevented the vehicle being stolen, its owner, Mark, said.
Premises No. 218, Vystwyke Road said subjected to two robberies, the first was on June 27, 2003. When cash and jewellery valued at Rs. 500,000 were stolen. This occurred between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. The second robbery was of cash Rs. 30,000 and jewellery totalling Rs. 50,000 which took place between 4.30 p.m. and 6.00 p.m.
Three weeks ago, premises Nos. 222 and 222/1, Vystwyke Road, were broken into three times and chandeliers, chairs and hardware were stolen. The items are valued at Rs. 300,000.
On April 7, 2005 three Cameras, two pairs of earings, rings and cash valued at Rs. 35,000 were stolen from premises No. 198, Vystwyke Road.
Two pairs of Earings, Bangles, Chain and Cash valued at Rs. 25,000 were stolen from No. 172, Vystwyke Road. A box of coins was also stolen, the lid of the box was recovered from the roof of the house.
Maruti Pharmacy on Vystwyke Road from which Cash, Pharmaceuticals and Phone Cards were stolen, had them recovered, the gang from Kotahena was apprehended.
On August 11, 2003, premises No. 104, Church Road, Mattkkuliya was entered into through the roof and jewellery valued at over Rs. 100,000 was stolen. The strategy used was that while the house was being burgled a motorcyclist kept canversing with the mother of the victims who lived next door.
Residents of the Crow Island Housing Scheme pointed their fingers at an unauthorized structure at the Children Park where many undesirables gather during the day. They alleged that all sorts of nefarious activities took place at a wooden building during the day and this included the sale of ganja and kasippu. They could not understand how such activities could go on undisturbed.
To add insult to injury even a large arm chair was stolen from No. 170, Centre Road, around noon in February 2005.