A man found guilty in eleven cases of robbing jewellery from female bus commuters after sleep inducing them was yesterday sentenced to 20 years jail by Colombo Chief Magistrate Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena.
Walpita Gamage Nalin of Batapola, Ambalangoda had committed the offences in long distance buses by offering drugged soft drinks to the victims. The eleven victims related their experiences before the magistrate yesterday.
The man`s modus operandi had been to tempt unsuspecting female bus passengers to accept drug introduced soft drinks and food after getting chatty with them. Once the victim fell asleep after being sedated he removed the jewellery from the victim and disappeared.
The suspect was apprehended by the Pettah Police at the Pettah Bus terminal on a tip off given by Renuka Manel of Makola. Renuka had fallen victim to the convict earlier and had seen him again on July 17 at the Pettah bus terminal. Renuka had caught him and when he tried to run away had called out for help. The hawkers at the terminal had caught him and handed him over to the police.
The victims identified their belongings which were handed over to them.
They commended the Pettah police and said without their support they would not have been able to recover their jewelry and more innocent women would fall prey to the `soft drink` robber.