Kodungallur: Natives caught a thief red-handed while trying to flee with stolen panchaloha idol, artefacts and money from a temple near Kodungallur and handed him over to the police on Thursday.
In connection with theft, Kodungallur police took Vivek (24), a native of Varapuzha into custody along with the stolen goods.
Vivek broke into the Methala Sree Dharmadaiva Temple, APJ Hardwares shop at Eriyad, a lottery shop nearby and the Panangad Higher Secondary School on Wednesday night.
From the Temple, Vivek stole a panchaloha idol, a copper ‘golaka’ from Annapoorneswari srikovil, another ‘golaka’ of Raktheswari kept at the temple office, a ‘prabhamandalam’ and coins worth Rs 25,000 from the hundial. Police seized all valuables and the scooter on which he used.
Vivek was nabbed by locals when the scooter he used developed a snag on the temple compound while he was attempting to escape with the stolen goods in a sack.
A local resident who woke up at 4.30 am on hearing the sound of the scooter was the first to see him on the temple compound. While the man questioned Vivek, the sack kept on the bike fell down and the idols and coins tumbled out.
On seeing the idols, the man caught Vivek and raised an alarm to wake up other residents in the area. On information, police came to the spot and took Vivek into custody. Chilli powder and two long knives were also recovered from him.
Vivek who broke into the lottery shop stole Rs 7750 and Rs 1000 from APJ Hardwares. From the Higher Secondary School, Vivek took Rs 8500, an amount earned from selling text books and Rs 2000, a charity fund for cancer patients. He later confessed to the crimes.