VADODARA: The Vadodara rural police busted a gang of dacoits involved in the sensational robberies at the Neotech Institute of Technology (NIT) at Virod near the city and the chilling plant of Baroda Dairy near Savli. Four members of the gang were arrested and a part of the robbed booty was recovered from them.

The gang had a modus operandi of targeting establishments of dairy cooperatives, education institutes and other establishments as well as houses on the outskirts of villages or towns. They used to break thick green branches from trees and use them as weapons for the robberies.

The robbery at NIT had taken place on February 9 while that at the chilling plant had taken place on Thursday. At NIT cash amounting to Rs 55,557 was stolen apart from a cellular phone. Attempts were also made to break open an ATM and the strong room of a bank in the campus. At the Savli chilling plant, a car, rifle and cash totalling to Rs 3.56lakh were stolen. Security guards were also beaten up in both the cases.

The district police had formed teams and put a battery of officers from the Local Crime Branch, Special Operations Group, Parole-Furlough Squad and others on the job of tracing the gang. The sleuths got a tip off regarding the involvement of some of the accused and started working on them.

Four persons who were allegedly involved in the robberies were arrested by the police and the car, a cellular phone and Rs 4,200 cash robbed in the two incidents was recovered.

The police also recovered five other cellular phones used by the accused to conduct the robberies.

Those arrested include Shana Rathod, Kalu Rathod, and Mehul Parmar from the Koliyavad village of Dhanpur taluka in Dahod district as well as Mukesh Bhuriya from the Dhanarpatiya village.

According to the police, the accused have revealed the names of 12 other accomplices in their preliminary investigations. These include Raju Mohaniya and Kaju Bhuriya, who are the kingpins, and involved in a series of similar offences across the state.

It has come to light that besides the robberies at Virod and Savli, the gang had conducted offences at Jarod in Vadodara, Anand and Bharuch .

The investigator are looking into the possibility of the gang being involved in more such offences.

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