In a shocking incident, three teenaged girls were tied to a lamp post and badly beaten up by the public on suspicion of having stolen Rs 1,000 from a textile shop in Salem, police said.
The girls were rescued by police and hospitalised.
Police said the girls came to the shop some days back and enquired about some dresses they had given for stitching, to which the owner said he did not recall seeing them before.
They insisted they had given it to his wife, upon which he went to check with her. On his return, he found Rs 1,000 in the cash box missing. Since it was a small amount he did not file a complaint with police, they said.
On Monday morning he spotted the girls walking down the street and alerted the public. The girls were caught, tied to a lamp post and thrashed before they were rescued by police.