What residents of New Geet Govind Housing Society in Kothrud unwittingly did was akin to leaving a lamb in the care of a lion.
In an injudicious move, the inhabitants hired Karan Sagne Lohar as security guard without even a perfunctory background check. Had they been a little more inquisitive, they would have learnt that the 25-year-old had been imprisoned in Gujarat earlier for his role in several housebreaking cases.
Perceiving an opening, Lohar and three other accomplices struck at the empty flat of a businessman and made away with cash and jewellery amounting to Rs 7.5 lakh in the wee hours of April 30.
However, Kothrud police managed to arrest the guard, and a relative — Devisingh Batala — who had given him patronage in Surat, on Sunday morning. Both hail from Kailali district in Nepal.
A complaint had been registered by Prakash Parmar, the affected businessman. “I stay with my family in this flat. My parents had gone out of town for spend the night with my brother who lives nearby. In the morning, a relative had gone to the society flat to pick up some things. However, she found the security door and the main door open and the latches broken,” Parmar told MiD DAY.
The businessman added that on arriving there after being alerted, he found that gold and silver ornaments and cash had been stolen from a cupboard in the bedroom.
“I immediately tried to call the security guard, but his phone was switched off. I then contacted the police control room and reported the housebreaking,” he said.
The victim later came to know that Karan, who had been hired by the housing society three months ago, had disappeared with his belongings and his room was empty.
Parmar said that the previous security guard, Sagar, had left the job four months ago, and it was he who had referred Karan to the society members. The guard was receiving
Rs 5,000 per month and a small room on the ground floor for accommodation from the society. Some residents revealed that the night before the housebreaking, Karan had taken some money from them and partied in his room.
“During investigations, we came to know that the Karan was working there for the last three months and the society members did not hire him from registered security agency,” said SB Navale, inspector (crime) of Kothrud police station. He added that constables Hemant Hendre and Sanjay Paigude were given the responsibility to probe the matter.
Speaking to MiD DAY, Hendre said that during the inquest, they came to know that the SIM card used by Karan was procured with forged documents. But cops managed to track the still-active number to Surat.
“Paigude and I then went to Surat and arrested Karan and Devisingh. We also recovered 22 gms of gold ornaments and Rs 8,000 in cash. Meanwhile, Karan’s three accomplices are absconding, and police have intensified the search as a major chunk of the booty is with them.
Paigude said that in the course of investigations, cops came to know that Karan had served time in a Surat jail for housebreaking. After being released four months ago he came to Pune where, with the help of Sagar — who is also a distant relative — the accused landed the job as a security guard