At about 4 pm, the inspector went to a gym, leaving the gunman and the home guard driver with the vehicle.
Hyderabad: Taking cue from the ‘friendly policing’ policy, a person sped away with a police vehicle in Suryapet district to meet his ailing wife at Khammam. The incident which was kept confidential had the Suryapet police on their toes till the vehicle was traced at Chintakani in Khammam district about 80 km away.
The man is identified as Tirupathi Lingaraju, a resident of Suryapet, and seems to be mentally unsound, said Suryapet superintendent of police, Prakash Jadav. Inquiries revealed that he was in a hurry to meet his wife at Khammam, he said.
The vehicle (TS 09PA 1568) was allotted to Atmakur(S) police station and is used by circle inspector Praveen Kumar Reddy of the Suryapet Rural police station.
At about 4 pm, the inspector went to a gym, leaving the gunman and the home guard driver with the vehicle. An unidentified man approached the vehicle on a bike and told the home guard that the CI had asked him to take the vehicle to the police station. Believing him, the home guard handed over the vehicle keys and the man drove away.
It was when the inspector returned that they realised the vehicle was stolen.
Immediately teams were deployed to trace the vehicle. Based on the GPS tracking system, the vehicle was traced to the highway, but contact was later lost.
The police traced the owner of the bike and through him came to know that his brother-in-law Lingaraju had sped away with the vehicle. Expecting him to go to his wife, police tracked his mobile location and, after speaking to his wife, traced his movements.
Lingaraju was finally traced at Jagannathapuram village under Chintakani mandal. He will be produced in court.