Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, September 16:
Commissionerate police today arrested a professional vehicle looter for allegedly duping many businessmen in the Odisha capital by looting their four-wheelers on the pretext of buying their car and asking them for a test drive.
The arrested vehicle looter was identified as Manoj Kumar Patra alias Mantu, who hails from Nischintakoili in Cuttack district. He was absconding with the car of a city-based businessman since July 29, Chandrasekharpur police sources said.
According to the police, Mantu was arrested from Kalarahanga on the city outskirts by tracking his hideouts.
Explaining the modus operandi of Mantu, police said the accused, in the name of test-drive, used to deceive city businessmen on several occasions by calling them to an undisclosed location in the city to buy their car.
Mantu used to contact prospective buyers on the website ‘OLX’ for sale of the cars, police said.
On July 29, a case was registered in this regard after a trader Satyanarayan Barik of Old Town lodged a complaint at Chandrasekharpur police station here.
On that day, the culprit called Barik to Chandrasekharpur area to buy his Mahindra SUV and asked for a test drive. But the culprit, who had come with his Honda Amaze car, took Barik’s vehicle leaving his car but never returned, police sources said.
Later, the trader reported to the local police about the cheating and handed over the culprit’s vehicle to them.
After verification, the police revealed that the four-wheeler handed over to them was stolen from Chandrasekharpur area some days back and the culprit was a professional car lifter.
“We arrested Mantu today and have seized five luxurious cars from his possession,” said a senior police officer, adding interrogation is on for the seizure of more cars from the accused.
The accused was involved in as many as six vehicle (four wheeler) loot cases registered against him in different police stations in Puri, Cuttack and Khurda districts, said police sources.