A five-member gang targeted 11 temples in the deserted areas of Mysuru and Chamarajanagar districts and took away valuables worth Rs 2.9 lakh in the past five months. Their biggest accomplice in the heists was Google maps. The burglars, in the 19-26 age group, are not full-time stealth operators. Drawn from different professional backgrounds, they joined hands to carry out burglaries only during the lean work period, a police officer said. They would do a thorough online search for temples in remote or most-inaccessible areas and draw up a plan to commit burglaries.
Since the temples which were on the burglars’ crosshairs didn’t have an active festival or special season that would attract devotees, the group struck at these shrines easily. The district police officer said the gang targeted 11 temples — nine in Chamarajanagar and two in Mysuru district — since September last year. When police did an online search for temples which were looted, they found the route information accurate. “Besides temple coordinates, they would collect demographic features of the area. It was a risk-free enterprise for them,” a police officer from Chamarajanagar said.
Puja items, including sandalwood logs, have been recovered from the arrested persons, a police officer said.