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Bat eyelashes and make off with wallet

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 29: Con women are using new tricks to cheat men of their money.

On Sunday, Lingaraj police arrested three women for snatching a cell phone and money from a youth at Mausima Square after the victim tried to help them.

The arrested trio — Pujarini Rout, 21, of Nayapalli, Sumita Sahu, 25, and Geeta Panda, 25, of Master Canteen — were sent to jail after a local court rejected their bail pleas.

Police said Geeta sought the cell phone of the victim, Sanatan Hota of Digapahandi, who had come to the city for an interview. Just as Hota was leaving the railway station through platform No. IV, the woman said she wanted to make an urgent call. He helped her. But instead of returning the phone, the woman boarded an autorickshaw and sped towards Old Town. Hota followed her in another autorickshaw. At Mausima Square, when he stopped the other vehicle, the woman started cursing him. The two other women joined her and they beat up Hota before snatching cash worth Rs 600 from his wallet.

As they created a scene, local people gathered there. Thinking that the youth might be harassing these women, the bystanders informed the cops. A police control room van reached the spot and took them all to the police station.

“The youth told us about what happened. After making inquiries, we realised that the women had been conning young men in this manner. We arrested the women and produced them before the court,” said inspector in charge of Lingaraj police station Itikant Mohapatra.

In November last year, a similar act had played out in Kharavela Nagar near the local police station. A woman snatched the keys of a man’s car when he parked it. The woman, who was around 25 years old, said the car owner’s driver had taken money from her and she wanted it back. Stunned, the car owner pleaded with her to return his keys. But she did not listen. People gathered as the woman created a scene. Finally, the man gave her Rs 3,000. The woman immediately returned the key. Though the incident occurred near the police station, the cops had no clue. The victim did not approach the cops fearing further embarrassment.

“The woman sounded very confident, but there was no truth to her story. But the gentleman had to save his face and so, he paid her the money,” said Anirudha Mohanty, an eyewitness.

The cops said that though such incidents had been occurring in the city, people were not coming forward to report them out of embarrassment.