Masked faces and a strange Marathi dialect are all that cops have to go on in their investigation of a recent Juhu housebreak, when six crooks attacked the elderly resident and his domestic staff and made off with booty worth about Rs 2.23 lakh.
The case has stumped both the Juhu police and the Crime Branch, who have been unsuccessful in identifying the culprits. The incident took place on July 31, between 2 am and 2.50 am, at Jay Mata Kutir (bungalow number Rs -371) on Gandhi Gram Road at Juhu beach.
Six unidentified people entered the bungalow then attacked the complainant, Harishchandra Mishra (69), with a sickle, injuring both his hands. The dacoits then tied up the five domestic helps and decamped with three mobile phones, 45 grams of gold ornaments and watches: all worth Rs 2.23 lakh.
Unable to identify the masked culprits, the cops have turned their attention to another detail of the episode - during the robbery, the entire gang was talking in an unusual Marathi dialect. According to the victim, the only recognisable thing they said was one line in Hindi ‘paisa kidhar hai’.
The police now suspect that the crooks are not locals, but instead belong to a rural tribe associated with robberies. “All the accused had covered their faces with masks, so we are now taking help from locals in different rural areas to identify which language the thieves were speaking.
Many villagers who speak different dialects were called to the police station and asked to speak in front of the victim so he could identify whether it was the same language used by the accused,” said an official from the Juhu police station.
Officials added that it was of particular concern that the thieves entered the house so easily, despite the fact that there were five other people inside, apart from the victim.
The robbers had entered the bungalow from the backdoor on the sea-facing side and were apparently confident they wouldn’t be stopped, said a cop from the Juhu police station, adding that they were now investigating the involvement of an insider.
Sources added that a similar crime had taken place in Nalasopara, when the robbers were caught on CCTV cameras but could not be identified due to their masks.