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Amid the coronavirus lockdown, a tea shop owner stranded in a village near Coimbatore stole a motorbike to take his family home to his native place near Mannargudi in Thanjavur. On May 29, about two weeks later, he sent the motorbike back to its owner.
An officer at Sulur police station said that Prashanth stole the bike on May 18.
Suresh Kumar, the owner of the vehicle, runs a lathe workshop at Kannampalayam near Sulur, about 20 km from Coimbatore town.
"Kumar had some pending work at his workshop that day. As usual, he parked the bike outside and was working inside the building. When he came out in the afternoon, his bike was missing," The Indian Express quoted the officer as saying.
According to a source acquainted with Kumar, he approached the local police station on the same day. "But the case wasn't registered as officers were busy with lockdown duty," the source said.
Kumar checked CCTV footage of a nearby building a couple of days later and found that it showed a man, wearing a shirt and pants but no footwear, fleeing with his bike.
"Someone in the locality identified the culprit as Prashanth, a man who had been working in two tea shops in the area for the past two years. They went to the house where he stayed in the village. But he had vacated home and left for his native place with his family," said the source close to Kumar.
Officers said that calls and efforts to trace Prashanth in Mannargudi, about 300 km from Sulur, were in vain.
On the evening of May 29, upon receiving a call from a nearby private parcel service, he visited the place to find his bike parcelled to the address given in his vehicle Registration Certificate (RC). Kumar, however, had to pay Rs 1,400 as luggage and packaging charges before receiving the bike.
No case was registered till Sunday, May 31, but Kumar's complaint is being looked into by Sulur police as they believed that Prashanth may have returned the vehicle after he got information about the theft being probed.
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