Increasing debts forced a private firm supervisor to lift motorcycles and sell the two-wheelers to clear his equal monthly installments (EMIs) as part of his loan repayment.
The 28-year-old bike thief, Yogananda, a resident of Bannerghatta Road and a native of Kunnalu village in Chikmagalur district, was finally caught red-handed by Magadi Road police on Sunday while stealing one of the motorcycles. The police said he had stolen 47 two-wheelers of which 35 bikes have so far been recovered.
Yogananda, who is married and works as a supervisor in a fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company on Bannerghatta Road, drew a monthly salary of `15,000, but as he felt the need to earn more he was tempted to launch a chit fund business on the side.
However, chit funds did not prove lucrative for him and he was forced to take a loan of `4.8 lakh from a private financier to pay back his customers.
Magadi Road police said that with a new problem of repaying the loan facing him, Yogananda sought to deal with it by stealing bikes and selling them at throwaway prices to pay his EMIs to the private financier.
The police said that Yogananda managed to clear `4 lakh of the loan amount by way of money raised through selling the stolen motorcycles from various areas of the city and its outskirts.
Yogananda’s modus operandi included moving around the city to identify two-wheelers parked outside homes in different areas of the city. Then he would wait for the right time to strike.
Almost all the two-wheelers he stole belonged to a particular company brand, and the police are in the process of finding out whether he had designed a master key of sorts which could be used on all the bikes belonging to the same brand.
On being caught red-handed, Yogananda confessed to having stolen 47 two-wheelers in and around the city. “We have managed to recover 35 two-wheelers so far. We are tracking the remaining 12 stolen bikes which he had sold to different people,” assistant commissioner of police (Vijayanagar sub-division), MK Uttappa, said.
With Yogananda’s arrest, the Magadi road police have managed to solve 35 bike theft cases — 17 in Hulimavu, 10 in Madiwala, four in Mico Layout, two in Adugodi and one each in Koramangala and Thilakanagar police limits.