Hotel owners, beware: sometimes respectable-looking, well-behaved guests are after your room fixtures! An Indian man actually made a career of it, taking off with more than 120 TV sets from hotels over a period of four months.
Vasudev Nanaiah, 37, was arrested last month and charged with 21 counts of theft after wreaking havoc among budget hotels in southern India by stealing an impressive number of TV sets from the rooms he booked. The TV pilferer would reserve the rooms by telephone and always make a small advance payment, informing the staff that he would be staying there for several days, in order to avoid suspicion. Nanaiah always arrived with bulky suitcases in tow, and in case they proved too small for the targeted TVs, he would simply go out and buy new ones.
Photo: Bangalore Police
Police say that the Indian thief would confuse hotel staff by repeatedly walking in and out of the establishment carrying his suitcase, on various pretexts, but they never suspected that at one point he would just walk out and not come back.
“He would walk in and out of the hotel on some pretext so many times that the hotel reception would not realize when he had walked out with the TV set never to return,” police deputy commissioner Chetan Singh Rathor said.
Nanaiah never raised any suspicion in hotel personnel, who describe him as “decent and well-behaved.”
Interestingly, the sticky-fingered hotel guest was first arrested in October after being caught red-handed but was released on bail. Instead of changing his ways, the man wasted no time picking up where he’d left off, getting back to business within days of his release. Unfortunately for Vasudev, police were keeping an eye on him and busted him again last month while he was trying to fence some of the stolen TV sets.
“We arrested him earlier this month when he was trying to sell TV sets to a shopkeeper, who alerted the police,” Bangalore police said, adding that about 20 TV sets had been recovered.
The investigation also revealed that Nanaiah had stolen about 100 TVs from hotels in the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Nanaiah told police that making off with the sets was “relatively low risk and easy.”
Stealing 120 hotel TV sets in just 4 months sounds pretty impressive, but it appears that it’s only the latest achievement in a very long and lucrative criminal career. Vasudev Nanaiah admitted to stealing hotel TVs for over 12 years, and Bangalore police sources believe that he may have stolen and sold over 1,000 TVs during that period.
If found guilty by the court, Nanaiah’s thieving days may finally come to an end or at least go on hiatus for a long time. He may also be ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation.