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Mumbai crime: 11 burglars pull off daring Rs 1.35 lakh heist

In a well-planned heist, eleven thieves beat up watchmen, stole valuables worth Rs 1.35 lakh from Andheri (E) apartment; police are alarmed how easily they entered the building

In what sounds like a desi version of the iconic heist film Ocean’s Eleven, 11 burglars successfully pulled off a well-planned robbery in an Andheri (East) apartment in the wee hours of Friday. The incident took place in a second-floor flat at Vaibhav Apartments in J B Nagar, a largely residential area.

While two  burglars were on lookout duty outside the building, another 6  attacked the watchmen with loaded pistols, knives, hockey  sticks and rods. Illustration /Amit Bandre
While two  burglars were on lookout duty outside the building, another 6  attacked the watchmen with loaded pistols, knives, hockey  sticks and rods. Illustration /Amit Bandre

The family living in the flat was yet to return from a trip to Kerala. At 3 am, the 11 burglars entered the compound, and by 4 am, they had restrained the watchmen and made off with cash and jewellery worth Rs 1.35 lakh. Each of the 11 had assigned roles during the heist, which had been planned thoroughly, said the police.

They then restrained the watchmen in the security cabin with ropes, while three of the burglars began to loot the flat upstairs
They then restrained the watchmen in the security cabin with ropes, while three of the burglars began to loot the flat upstairs

According to PSI Vasant Pawar from Andheri police station, two were on lookout duty, stationed outside the building near a tree. Six of the burglars began to assault the two compound watchmen with weapons they were carrying, while the final three went upstairs to the second floor to finish the robbery.

An hour later, the 11 escaped from the scene, leaving the security guards sill bound up. Half an hour passed before the watchmen were spotted and an alarm was raised
An hour later, the 11 escaped from the scene, leaving the security guards sill bound up. Half an hour passed before the watchmen were spotted and an alarm was raised

What has sent the alarm bells ringing for the police and residents in the area, is the question of how such a large group of thieves managed to enter and steal from an area that is largely residential. Also worth noting is the fact that the thieves took off with items worth R1.35 lakh, an amount, which some may find, doesn’t justify the meticulous planning and willingness to resort to the violence, as displayed by them.

While the Andheri police have registered the case and are trying to find leads, several teams from zonal police stations as well as the Crime Branch are also investigating the incident.

A Crime Branch source said, “This is a very serious incident, as 11 burglars entered a residential area at the same time. They came prepared with loaded pistols, knives, hockey sticks and rods, with a detailed tip-off on how to go about the burglary.”

The watchmen were beaten, and then tied up with ropes in their cabin, said cops. Once the burglary was done with, they left the watchmen in the same state and escaped. It was only when an early morning walker noticed him huddled in the cabin between 4.30 and 5 am, that the alarm was raised.

“With the way the gang operated, it shows that if anyone would have come in their way, they would have killed them on the spot,” said a cop. Senior Police Inspector S Dhumal of Andheri police station said, “We are investigating the matter.

There are no CCTV cameras in the building or in the area. We are trying to make sketches from the watchmen’s description of the accused, and are trying to find history-sheeters. We hope to crack the case soon.”

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