Kathmandu, September 17

Police have stepped up crackdown on property crimes after rise in incidents of thefts in the Kathmandu Valley recently.

The Metropolitan Police Crime Division today nabbed four persons for allegedly robbing a man of precious muga mala.

The arrestees have been identified as Anup Lama, 31, and Baburam Lama, 27, of Kavre, and Surendra Basnet, 27, of Chitwan.

According to the police, the trio had overpowered Janam Bahadur Lama of Kalikot and made off with his muga malas worth Rs 1.8 million. Police have confiscated 502 pieces of muga mala, Rs 18,000 and a motorcycle, among others, from them. Similarly, the MPCD arrested three alleged serial burglars, who were long targeting savings and cooperative agencies in the capital to commit property crimes. The crime suspects are Subas Pokharel, 21, and Arjun Nepali, 18, of Dhading and Deepak Gajurel, 17, of Nuwakot.

Teams from the Metropolitan Police Crime Division had raided their rented rooms in Thamel and Naya Bazaar and arrested the trio. According to the MPCD, their modus operandi was to scan easy targets in the daytime and break into savings and cooperative agencies and other private offices in the night, taking advantage of lax security. The gang had managed to break into at least eight targets in the past three months.

Police seized Rs 150,000, five items of gold ornaments, a laptop computer, mobile phone sets and three motorcycles from them. During interrogation, they admitted to committing a series of property crimes and buying motorcycles from stolen cash.

Officials urged the saving and cooperative agencies, landlords and tenants to take extra care while handling cash. As many as 168 cases of property crimes have been reported in the Valley so far in this fiscal. Police said at least 25 theft suspects were arrested during the period.