Snatch and swallow is the modus operandi a petty thief, failing to escape the cops, attempted on Tuesday.
Rajesh Shaw snatched a gold chain from a pedestrian bound for Howrah station. Though he tried to disappear in the crowd, the woman was quick to alert the Golabari police in Howrah who gave chase and apprehended him with the necklace.
During the scuffle that followed, Shaw slipped the chain into his mouth. A policeman tried to pull it out, but Shaw had gulped it down by then, explained Zulfiquar Hasan, superintendent of police, Howrah.
Shaw was taken to the Golabari police station. By this time, the victim had little hope of getting her chain back and was about to leave. But the suggestion that the culprit be taken to Howrah Hospital revived hopes of recovery.
The chain was spotted, through an X-ray, in the thief’s stomach. Doctors advised a strong dose of purgative to recover the stolen ornament.
Though the chain has not yet been recovered, medical attendants are hopeful it should be purged by Wednesday.
The chain will be returned to its owner following which Shaw — now being guarded by two policemen — will be produced in court.