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Five members of an interstate gang, which had allegedly stolen a number of precious objects worth over Rs 26 lakh from several temples in Kartakata, were arrested in Thane, police said today.

The accused were arrested last night from Wagle Estate area of Lokmanya Nagar here where they had come to loot a jewellery shop, Senior Inspector of Crime Unit V, Kishore Pasalkar, said.

The accused have been identified as Narsingh Raju Kamenalappa (38)from Bangalore, Naveen (21), Chandrakant Kimayya Pujari (34), Vijay Suresh Bhosle (35) and Vishal Vijay Fondke (25), all four from Thane, he added.

According to police, the gang had stolen 48.50 kg of silver items, 353 gms of gold ornaments collectively worth Rs 26.19 lakh, including Rs 70,000 cash, from Karnataka.

“Taking advantage of the ongoing Ganesh festival, the gang members were planning to loot a jewellery shop in Wagle Estate area. However, before they could carry out the dacoity, a police team nabbed them about 8.30 PM yesterday,” he said.

During the interrogation, police came to know that Narsingh, Naveen and Chandrakant were wanted in several cases of thefts from temples across Karnataka.

Police from Dakshina Kannada district in had been on the lookout for the trio since the past several months. After being informed that they have been nabbed in Thane, a police team from came to the city.

“They are notorious criminals, who targeted only temples and used to execute their crime at night. They used to steal idols, ornaments and other precious objects and were wanted in as many as 13 cases of theft in temples and were at large,” police said.

According to the investigators, Narsingh is the kingpin of the gang and had around 17 cases registered against him even before 13 cases of temple thefts were filed against him.

“Naveen Singh, who is originally from Delhi, was specially asked to join the gang and then brought to from after the theft,” Pasalkar said.

All the five accused have been handed over to police.

(This story has not been edited by Global Press staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)