The Chennai police on Thursday arrested a 32-year-old man who allegedly pretended to be a policeman and collected fines, running into thousands of rupees, from people across several areas of the city. The police identified the man as S Don Steward and said that he was arrested after he ‘collected’ a fine of Rs 25,000 from a person smoking in public.
According to the police, on November 19, R Kesavan (24), a resident of Arumbakkam, was smoking near Ethiraj Salai near Egmore when a person on a bike with a ‘police’ sticker on it approached him. He told Kesavan he was a policeman and asked him to pay a fine for smoking in public, the police added.
In his complaint filed at the F2 Egmore police station, Kesavan said he was taken to a nearby ATM and was made to withdraw Rs 25,000. After collecting the money, the person fled the spot. Realising that he had been conned, Kesavan approached the police.
After analysing CCTV visuals from the locality, the police nabbed Steward, a resident of TP Chatram, Aminjikarai. According to the police, Steward had been working as a Home Guard and had quit his job a few months ago. To earn more income, he had been pretending to be a police officer, collecting fines from people in several areas of the city, including Nolambur, Ayanavaram, JJ Nagar, TP Chatram and Nungambakkam police station limits.
Steward had been collecting penalties from people in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, the police said. The police seized Rs 44,000, a mobile phone and a motorbike from Steward, who was later remanded to judicial custody.