The Neelankarai police on Thursday arrested a 45-year-old woman who allegedly robbed 102 sovereigns of gold and ₹8 lakh cash from a family on the pretext of warding off evil spirits.
The police said the accused, Narayani of Perumbakkam, was arrested from her hideout.
The pawn broker and his son with whom she pledged the jewellery were also arrested.
The victim, Sivakumar, 42, is employed at Chennai harbour and a resident of Palavakkam. His wife died in April 2018 in a fire.
Nayarani visited Mr. Sivakumar and his daughter while she came to her daughter’s house who was his neighbour.
She convinced him that evil spirits caused his wife’s death and a special puja had to be performed to ward them off.
She told him to keep all the jewellery used by his wife and cash at puja. She reportedly told him they should perform the puja for one year.
Even after a year, she failed to return them and went missing. Mr. Shivakumar lodged a complaint with the Neelankarai police.
Narayani was remanded in judicial custody on Wednesday.