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Diwali robbers use 13-year-old to loot Rs 40 lakh jewellery

While the two female accomplices distracted the sales staff, the minor deftly managed to swipe a bag from the inner room of the store that contained nearly 1.5 kg gold ornaments

A jeweller in the city received the shock of his life when, during the festive season of Diwali, he learnt he was missing an entire bag of jewellery worth Rs 40 lakh ordered by another client. Upon checking footage from the CCTV cameras in his shop, he found that a gang of ‘customers’ who had visited the store the previous day had made off with the jewels. He then registered the case with the Talegaon Dhabhade police station on October 21.

Clean sweep: The CCTV of the store caught images of the gang in operation at the jewellery store in Talegaon. The cops are currently going through the footage
Clean sweep: The CCTV of the store caught images of the gang in operation at the jewellery store in Talegaon. The cops are currently going through the footage

According to the police, the incident took place on October 18, in the run-up to the Diwali festival, with the accused being two women with three children in tow – a girl around 13 years of age, a boy around 10 years old and a toddler.

Recalling the incident, the shop owner, Samir Oswal, said, “Due to Diwali, there was huge rush in my shop. The next day, while auditing the jewellery I noticed one bag missing from my iron cupboard. I immediately checked the CCTV camera footage and saw that on October 18, between 12 noon to 12.15 pm, two women along with a toddler, a boy and girl around 13 years old had come to my shop to purchase a necklace. It was the girl who entered the other room and stole the bag in which I had kept another client’s gold ornaments. They had been given to me for polishing and were for a wedding.” The jeweller lost 1.5 kg of gold jewellery.

CAUGHT ON CAM: The teenage girl (face blurred as she is a minor) who robbed the jewels from the cupboard. The woman in pink sari with a bag is one of the accomplices
Caught on CAM: The teenage girl (face blurred as she is a minor) who robbed the jewels from the cupboard. The woman in pink sari with a bag is one of the accomplices

The 38-year-old further added, “I was shocked to see this. I did not know what to do, as the stolen ornaments were given to me by a client on the occasion of Diwali; some of them were for a wedding. I got another set of gold jewellery prepared from a goldsmith and gave it to my customers, so that their faith was retained.”

Modus operandi
mid-day has seen the camera footage of the mentioned incident. In it, a teenage girl wearing a black and pink salwar kameez is seen entering the shop with two women. One of the women has a toddler in her arms, while the other has a ten-year-old boy.

Around 12.03 pm, the gang is seen standing at the last counter of the shop. One woman pretends to see a necklace on the pretext of purchasing it and the other stands beside her. Both women shield the teen as she crawls beneath the counter and enters another room in which there is an iron cupboard. The girl takes a bag from the cupboard and hides the ornaments in her dupatta. All the while, the boy is keeping watch over the entrance from where the girl had snuck in. As the girl emerges into the main shop area, the boy takes a purse from one of the women and puts the stolen bag inside it. The gang casually leaves the shop one by one.

Senior Police Inspector Vasant Babar of Talegaon Dabhade police station said, “We are investigating the case. Oswal delayed in registering the complaint by two days.”

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