Gypsy pick pocket gangs rounded up

By Jayantha de Silva

Forty pick pockets, including women, had been netted by the Maradana Police anti-pick pocket dragnet spread through the festive season. All of them were produced before Maligakande Magistrate G.L.Priyantha and remanded pending identification.

Two anti-pick pocket squads had been deployed in the City since early December.

The light fingered gentry and their female accomplices were using a novel modus operandi called ‘Navavadiya’, said IP Nihal Francis OIC Crimes.

They operate in twos, in both buses and trains. Once a target is marked one of them stands beside the passenger and unobtrusively covers the face of the victim with a large black shopping bag while his partner empties cash and valuables in victim’s pocket, he explained.

Those who had been apprehended are mostly gypsies from the Weppamadu area in Puttalam District.

By interrogating the suspects, police had come to know that that they had undergone training in their Kuppayama or gypsy huts before descending on the City to prey on festive shopping crowds and those who have got year-end bonuses, he added.

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