The Chittoor district police on Saturday arrested a gang of thieves who used to dig out temples for hidden treasures.
The district police team, led by KV Palle Sub Inspector Rammohan, has recovered some equipment, eight mobile phones and two cars from the gang.
According to Madanapalle Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ravi Manohar Achary, the gang used to target ancient temples in the state and dig them out for hidden treasures.
In a recent instance, they attacked the temple of Lord Malleswara near the Adavipalle project area on April 25. They destroyed the backside wall, entered the temple, displaced the idols and searched for treasure tropes, said the DSP.
He further informed that the gang stole a bronze bell from the temple, adding that the temple priest who saw the plight of the temple the next morning, complained at KV Palle police station.
Based on that complaint of the priest, two teams were formed to keep a tab on the gang under suspicion, said the DSP.
He further stated that after the police got information about some suspicious persons at Lakshminarayana Palle cross in KV Palle mandal, seven persons were nabbed while four others of the gang managed to escape.
A search is on to nab the other four accused, the DSP added.