Chennai: After searching for four years, police finally nabbed a 39-year-old man who stole jewellery and valuables from passengers in trains.

The 39-year-old man, Shahul Hameed from Thrissur, Kerala, would book AC sleeper coach tickets and would target well-to-do women. He would turn up at the railway station at least one hour before the departure of the train to identify his targets. The second-class AC compartments whose windowpanes are fitted with curtains which made it easier for him to carry out his theft. He would take the bag, empty it of its jewellery and valuables and place it back at the same place to avoid any suspicion.

Police discovered that Shahul Hameed had travelled in all the 30 trains between 2016 to 2019 where robberies were reported. He was the link across the multiple robberies in trains in 2016 to 2019 between Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He reportedly spoke several languages including French and Spanish.

Hameed was planning to build a hotel empire in Malaysia. He had become a partner of Niche Valley Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He had also funded the capital for his hotel business from his robbery gains.

He lived in Kuala Lumpur with his second wife and hotel business partner Shahana.  Hameed also kept a detailed record of his robberies on his laptop.

The 39-year-old was nabbed by the plain-clothed policemen in the Blue Mountain Express train on Friday. Initially, he refused to accept his arrest and stated that he was a businessman. However, he later he confessed to the thefts.

Police have recovered gold worth around Rs 28 lakh.