The Pune police have identified the Mandai Ganpati temple thief after an autorickshaw driver brought the stolen gold ornaments worth Rs 44 lakh, claiming his son had committed the theft.
The ornaments were stolen on the wee hours of one of the Pune's oldest and most prestigious Mandai Ganpati temple on Wednesday. The auto driver claimed that his son had committed robbery under the influence of drug. (Read here)
Police have identified the thief as Vijay Narayan Kundale, a resident of Kothrud.
Vijay Narayan Kundale.
The CCTV camera footage shows the theft taking place around 5 am. The thief was wearing white clothes and entered the temple by smashing a window with help of a cement brick. He stole two gold necklaces, two gold chains, a mangalsutra and goddess Sharada’s diamond necklace worth around Rs 20 lakh. The Vishrambaug police station registered a case and began to scrutinise CCTV footage from the temple and surrounding areas.
Inspector Nitin Bhosale-Patil in-charge of Kothrud police station said, “Autorickshaw driver Narayan approached us clutching the gold ornaments. I was shocked initially as I thought some auto passenger must have forgotten the jewellery. Later he fell at my feet and admitted that his son, who is a drug addict, was the culprit.
Narayan claimed that his son Vijay is addicted to Ganja and and that he had committed the crime under the influence of Contraband substances. "We are still to nab Vijay as he is on the run but we have recovered 50 per cent of the stolen ornaments," Patil added.
Speaking to mid-day, Narayan said, “I am sorry for the incident. I had heard about a theft taking place in the temple but never thought that my son would be involved. On Wednesday night after our dinner my son Vijay came walked inside the house and I noticed him that he was under the influence of liquor and was wearing gold chains and necklace. When I asked him, he did not reply. I was confused in the beginning but I finally approached Kothrud police and gave the jewellery that he was wearing.”
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