Learning that his friend's neighbour was storing over Rs 70 lakh worth of jewellery for daughter's wedding, he and an accomplice posed as gas company reps, assaulted and gagged the senior citizen, and robbed her
Late last month, disaster struck Goregaon (East) resident Sangeeta Sudhakar Shenoy's (62) preparations for her daughter's wedding, when two men entered her house, assaulted and gagged her, before fleeing with jewellery worth over Rs 70 lakh ('Robbers posing as gas company reps loot bride-to-be's Rs 70-L jewellery', February 28, MiD DAY).
Planned robbery: Two men gagged Sangeeta Sudhakar Shenoy at
her residence in Goregaon and fled with her jewellery worth over Rs 70
lakh. Illustration/Amit Bandre
Over a month later, Vanrai police have arrested three men for conducting the planned robbery, one of whom happens to be the victim's distant relative and a resident of the same building. The three men have been identified as Rohit alias Bhole Singh (24), Shivam alias Gullu Singh (19) and Sujit Singh (33). Sujit lives on the third floor of Suraj Heights, located in Sharma Estate at Goregaon (East), while Shenoy lives on the sixth floor of the same building. Rohit, who masterminded the crime, had pawned his wife's ornaments, and was in dire need of money to retrieve them. He is a side actor, and wanted to buy a car to show off to his friends and colleagues.
According to the police, Sujit had invited his accomplices over for drinks, when his wife had gone to her parents' house on February 26. While the three were lounging at Sujit's house, he told his guests that Shenoy's daughter was getting married, and a large amount of gold had been purchased and kept at her apartment.
Sujit was aware of the timings of the family members in the Shenoy household, and knew that Shenoy would be home alone for long stretches of the day.
The three hatched a plot, and on February 27, Rohit and Shivam entered the building, posing as workers for the Mahanagar Gas company. They were stopped by the watchman, and asked to sign in on the entry log. They entered a random flat number and gave a nine-digit mobile phone number.
The two then went to Shenoy's house and rang the bell, telling her that they had come to read the meter. One of them, who had climbed on to the kitchen counter and was pretending to check the gas meter, suddenly jumped on her and gagged her.
The robbers then threatened her and began removing the gold bangles, mangalsutra and ring from her person. They assaulted her with a knife, injuring both her hands. They asked her where the rest of her gold jewellery was kept, and ransacked her cupboard, stealing jewellery worth over Rs 70 lakh, before fleeing. In course of their investigations, the Vanrai police learnt that Sujit's wife was not at home and that he had been visited by two men prior to the crime.
"We also learnt of Sujit's straitened financial circumstances. When we questioned him, he broke down and confessed to having planned the robbery. We then arrested Rohit and Shivam from their residences in Nallasopara," said Suresh Shinde, senior police inspector of Vanrai police station.