Bengaluru: IIT-Delhi grad held for stealing high-end cameras worth lakhs
A 27-year-old man has been arrested in Bengaluru for conning several people by taking their high-end cameras and zoom-lenses on 'rent' and selling those online. He'd pose as a professional photographer, and managed to steal expensive equipment worth lakhs. Surprisingly, his background is prolific: a graduate from IIT-Delhi, he was pursuing MBA from IIM-Kolkata, but dropped out after he was caught cheating his classmates.
Karthik Addagarla's journey in crime started way back in 2013, when he started indulging in online gambling while studying in IIM. Gradually, he hatched his modus operandi. He'd contact various companies like Juggleit.in, or individuals who are willing to rent out their DSLR cameras and lenses, and fix up a meeting. After acquiring the goods, he sold those on OLX or Quickr.
He didn't go underground completely after the theft, but whenever he was contacted to return the goods, he always made up flimsy excuses. He did the same with one Lohit Sontaki, who finally got tired of his 'apologies' and approached the Sampigehalli police on May 21. Karthik had taken Sontaki's camera worth Rs. 2.76L and a telephoto lens worth Rs. 1.38L on 'rent'.
Upon investigation, police discovered that Karthik is an inter-state con, with as many as 25 complaints lodged against him in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. His confession helped police recover four cameras and three lenses worth Rs. 12L from his possession. He did all these to lead a lavish life, said cops. However, they got a real shock when they searched his background.
They discovered that Karthik's father serves the Navy as an assistant commander, while his mother is a bank manager in Andhra Pradesh. When his Vizag-based parents learnt about his criminal activities, they deserted him and since then, he had been leading a nomadic life. He roamed around in cities, planning his next move and stayed in hotels, where he would meet his 'clients'.
A senior cop noted that Karthik never carried any suitcase. "He'd buy a new set of clothes, use them for couple of weeks, and then buy a new set again," he added. His cons aside, he did put his IIT knowledge to good use, by teaching mathematics to people online through Jamboree Education Private Limited. His LinkedIn profile still maintains he's an IIM student.