Friday, June 13, 2008

Burglar who weighs his every move

You have got to read this story! A few things to note before you start off :
  • NRI - Non Resident Indian - someone who lives overseas and comes back to India to visit - usually loaded by Indian standards.
  • Kerala - a state in southern India. The only one that boasts 100% literacy rate.

Gopi is a smart burglar, as his countless prison stints over the past 26 years and 100-odd burglaries would vouchsafe. The Kerala-born, converted Christian targets only houses owned by NRIs. He enters each home armed with three priceless items a jewellers weighing scale, a bottle of water and a piece of sponge.

Why, of all things, a weighing scale? As soon as he strikes gold, Gopi spreads it out and meticulously weighs his haul. He notes the exact weight of the loot so that tomorrow, when he is caught, police do not under-declare the recovery and pocket a portion of his booty. Though Gopi never remembers the specifications of the jewellery he steals whether they are rings, necklaces or gold coins he never forgets the quantity.

He has built such a sterling reputation that even the cops have faith in him. Once, Gopi laid his hands on 20 sovereigns of gold jewellery. As usual, he maintained meticulous records. However, the victims exaggerated and claimed that they had lost 50 sovereigns. But the police chose to believe Gopi’s version. Not surprisingly, intense interrogation revealed that Gopi was right; he had taken only 20 sovereigns.

As for the bottle and sponge, both are integral to his operation Gopi wipes clean the scene of crime once he finishes, ensuring that he does not leave behind any finger or footprint. Ask him why he targets mostly NRI houses and the genial Gopi says, “I strike as soon as the inmates return from a foreign country. If not gold, which is my first priority, at least I can get expensive electronic goods.” (Link)

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