College student, boyfriend held for snatching phones on stolen bike to buy cannabis and liquor
A college student and her tattooist boyfriend were arrested late on Wednesday on charges of snatching cell phones and lifting bikes to buy cannabis and liquor, police in Chennai have said.
Swathi, 20, and 29-year-old Raju were arrested after they snatched a cellphone from a woman in Teynampet near the arterial Anna Salai in the city on Monday, officials said. Police started looking at CCTV footage from the area after the woman lodged a complaint about her phone.
The force zeroed in on Raju based on the number plate of the motorcycle he was riding. He had stolen the motorcycle last week from a shopping mall in Velacherry and there was a police complaint about the theft. He is also facing another charge of bike lifting, police said.
“The two confessed to having committed the crimes to purchase ganja and liquor and to manage their expenses. Swathi used to accompany Raju in the two-wheeler when he used to snatch cell phones from pedestrians. The CCTV footage of the Teynampet incident clearly shows this,” an investigating officer said.
The two were produced before a magistrate on Thursday and remanded to custody.
Swathi, a resident of Karur, about 400km from Chennai, was befriended by Raju, a tattooist in Choolaimedu area, through Instagram, police said. According to Teynampet Police, Raju introduced Swathi to cannabis and liquor as their relationship developed and she became an addict.
The final year student of visual communications at a private college started missing her classes and was thrown out of the hostel. Raju arranged a room for her in a lodge, where the two met frequently, police added.
The two roamed the city on stolen two-wheelers to snatch cell phones, which they later sold in Burma Bazaar abutting the Madras High Court in Parrys Corner, they said.