The lure of shortcut to success inspired two class X students of a Kothrud-based school to rob a stationery store of Rs 45,000 in cash and goods. However, a CCTV camera, placed right above the counter, ensured that the duo landed in the police net within 24 hours.
The crime was committed at Bombay Stationers and General Stores at Erandwane, Kothrud in the wee hours of Wednesday. Police also managed to arrest a 21-year-old man, identified as Rohan Dalvi, who had promised to sell the duo four to five question papers for Rs 35,000 and had also instigated them to acquire the money by stealing. Rohan is a BBA student Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s College of Commerce.
“During interrogation, the two boys told us that they used to go to coaching classes near the school, as SSC exams are approaching, where they had met Rohan, who told them that he would give them some question papers, which were leaked recently and asked them to bring Rs 35,000,” said inspector Shrikant Navale of Kothrud police station.
He added, “The students told him that they did not have such a large sum with them. Then Rohan advised them to loot the shop and also told them to steal some stationery items, promising to sell them to arrange some cash.”
The owner of the store, Deva Chowdhary, came to know about the incident on Wednesday morning after he opened the shop and found goods scattered and the cash drawer open. “A small window above the shutter was also ajar,” said Deva, while speaking to MiD DAY.
He said, “We immediately checked the CCTV footage, and were stunned to see a boy – 15-16 years old – inside the shop, carrying out a robbery. The boy entered the shop at 4.18 am on Wednesday. He covered his face after noticing the camera, but it was too late.”
Deva said he managed to identify the teenager, as the latter often came to the store to purchase some stationery items.
“We also discovered that the two kids had first consumed pizzas and smoked cigarettes on the shop’s roof before breaking in,” he added.
Disclosing how police managed to nab the real mastermind, Rohan, inspector Navale said, “The boys told us that they were supposed to meet Rohan at a fast-food outlet on Karve Road to hand over the stolen items and cash, and receive the question papers.”
A trap was laid and plainclothes cops apprehended Rohan from the location. Navale said that both the class X students are from well-to-do families – while one’s father is a manager with a reputed bank in Mumbai, the other’s is an engineer with a private firm.
Case in point
Two days ago, the anti-dacoity cell of city police had arrested two youths who were allegedly distributing some fake question papers of class XII for the Science stream.