After caustic comments, memes, political attacks and panic reactions, here comes the logical conclusion to spiralling fuel prices – diesel theft.
A gang that has become active in the area strikes between 3 and 4.30 am; its members arrive in a Tata Sumo and identify lorries.
The accused have stolen close to 300 litres of diesel from two trucks that had come to deliver raw materials and pick up finished goods from Kurl-on factory located behind Taj Vivanta on Tumkur Road. That’s around Rs 20,000 worth of fuel in two hits.
The drivers of the trucks complained to the factory manager who in turn informed the police and lodged a formal complaint.
“We suspect that there could be three or more men involved in stealing the diesel from the lorries when they were parked outside our factory. There is CCTV footage of the incident. The incidents happened on two days last week. The accused had come in a Tata Sumo SUV. We have filed a police complaint in this regard with the RMC Yard police,” the manager of Kurl-on factory, KM Aithal, told Bangalore Mirror.
One of the trucks that was targeted is registered in Kerala and the other one bears a Gujarat number plate. Over 120 litres of diesel was stolen from one and the thieves pilfered over 140 litres from the other one. After the drivers complained, the CCTV camera footage was checked which showed that the thieves came equipped with barrels and hosepipes.
The manager told the police that the gang members are nowadays often seen prowling around the factory.
“Aithal filed a complaint on Saturday. The accused broke open the caps of the diesel tanks and used hosepipes to draw diesel. We think that the accused move around industrial areas during the wee hours and confirm that the drivers and the cleaners are fast asleep before attempting to steal diesel. The gang could have used the diesel for their vehicles or could have sold it in the black market. The drivers of both the lorries came to know about the theft after seeing the spilled diesel,” said an officer who is part of investigations.
The RMC Yard police have registered a case of theft under section 379 of the Indian Penal Code in both the incidents.
A number of trucks pass through, and some are parked at night, outside the factory situated at Pipe Line Road also known as Jalahalli Camp Road at the Yeshwanthapura industrial suburb. This makes them easy pickings for thieves.
So far, Byraveshwaranagar and Yeshwanthpura are the only two localities that have reported incidents of fuel theft. It won’t be a surprise if thieves spread out and start targeting other areas, given the spiralling fuel prices.