Three persons from Tamil Nadu were arrested on Russell Street on Monday while allegedly trying to steal belongings kept in cars parked in the area.
Police said the trio, who have several cases of theft against them in the city, operated as a gang and would mostly target mobile phones, briefcases and wallets kept in cars after distracting the owners and drivers by dropping money by the roadside.
The police said the gang members — Loga Nathan, 39, Vinod Kumar, 39 and Kishore, 30 — were from Trichy in Tamil Nadu and would visit the city regularly, especially around Durga Puja.
“We arrested the three when they had assembled on Russell Street on Monday afternoon to steal valuables from parked cars. We will interrogate them to find out the extent of their operation,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, the joint commissioner of police, crime.
Sources said the trio had been on the cop radar for the past couple of years. They have cases pending against them at Burrabazar, Bowbazar and Shakespeare Sarani police stations.
The police said the gang followed the same modus operandi in all incidents of theft.
“The members would come with a bundle of Rs 10 notes and wait for a car to pull up. As the driver got off, one of them would drop a few notes and tell the driver that he had dropped his money. Just as the driver would bend to pick up the notes, another member would lift items from the car,” said an officer.
“They had stolen a box full of jewellery in one such operation,” the officer added.