A pastor who conducted prayer meetings, confessions and conducted good behaviour classes at a church in Burma colony in Thanakkkulam in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district has been arrested for stealing at least a dozen motorcycles.
Tamil television channel Polimer News the pastor, Vijayan Samuel, was arrested following an alert given by a motorcycle mechanic in the temple city’s Pazhamkanthagam area when a stolen motorcycle the pastor was riding developed a snag.
Finding the motorcycle to be similar to the one stolen from one of his customers, the mechanic called his customer. The pastor’s attention was diverted after the mechanic asked him to attend to any business he might have as it would take over half an hour for the snag to be set right.
As the pastor went out, the customer was called in. He identified the motorcycle as his, following which the police were alerted.
When the pastor returned to fetch the motorcycle, he was arrested. On interrogation, Samuel confessed that he had stolen at least a dozen motorcycles.
Often, the pastor would drive away motorcycles left careless on roadsides with their keys dangling. He picked these motorcycles from commercial areas as he began to keep a watch for such vehicles there.
He pledged most of the vehicles, forging their documents, while he also gave away a couple of them to his relatives in Cumbum and those who took part in his prayer service.
Samuel reportedly told police that he used the money from the theft of motorcycles for his weekend prayer meetings and pay the rental for the prayer hall.
He is alleged to have told police that he resorted to stealing as the flow of funds had stopped after the onset of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Samuel has now been remanded to judicial custody.
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