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Mithai bag, newspaper help crack bank robbery

Police investigating the burglary at the Dadar branch of Dena Bank have revealed that a Gujarati newspaper and a mithai shop bag left behind by the burglars helped them crack the Rs 29.22 lakh theft that took place on September 2.

Geeta Putran and Ritesh Waghela
Breakthrough: Geeta Putran and Ritesh Waghela had burgled Rs 29.22 lakh from Dena Bank’s Dadar branch on September 2

Soon after, cops had detained two suspects working at the branch for questioning. Based on their initial findings, which pointed to the involvement of the suspects, two people were arrested on Tuesday.

According to the police, the two — Geeta Putran (37) and Ritesh Waghela (25) —worked as sweepers at the bank with Putran working there since 1995, and Waghela, Putran’s nephew, had joined the bank only recently. “While searching for evidence at the branch, we found a Gujarati newspaper and a carry bag of a mithai shop located in Gujarat. Our suspicions about the involvement of the sweepers were substantiated when we learnt that they were natives of Surat,” said a police officer, investigating the case.

“Geeta was a trusted employee and had most of the keys to the bank, including the lock that was broken. When we first questioned her, she told us that on the day of the robbery she was at her home in Nalasopara. After further enquiries, we learnt that she was not at home that day, which meant she was lying to us,” said the police officer.

“Various other leads also indicated their involvement. Based on that we arrested them,” said Dhanajay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, Zone V. Despite cracking the case, the cops are in a dilemma, as they are yet to recover the money.

Investigating officers have decided to conduct a polygraph and brain-mapping test on the accused to ascertain the truth.

The police had also recorded the statements of three bank officers — Abhijeet Tatkar, Neha Dhondwalkar and Smita Raut, who had keys to the safe. “We reviewed the CCTV footage of the bank and saw that a person wearing a raincoat had carried out the break-in. He was seen in the footage for around nine minutes,” said the police officer.

We suspect they might have carried out the burglary with somebody else’s help,” said Kulkarni.

Inside job
Dena Bank officials discovered they had been burgled on Monday morning after the watchman and a few workers saw papers lying on the floor and then realised that their branch had been broken into. A complaint was filed with the Shivaji Park police station. Cops found that the sweepers Putran and Waghela were entrusted with keys to the bank. Police also realised that the sweepers knew the password for the alarm.  

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