Cops have also arrested 79-year-old Hanumanta Dhanshetty, who bought the sandalwood from them, and have recovered logs of sandalwood tree weighing around 13 kg from his possession.

According to police, the culprits entered Raj Bhavan by scaling the compound wall, cut the sandalwood tree with sharp saws, made small logs out of them and sold them to Dhanshetty. “They had done a reece two days prior to the theft,” said DCP (Zone III) Shahaji Umap.

The thieves told the police that they had been stealing sandalwood trees for last 10 years from across the state.