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Mumbai crime: Trusted driver loots NRI couple of Rs 1 crore valuables

The driver, had been with the family for more than 20 years, colluded with a carpenter and broke in to the UK-based couple’s Santacruz home and ransacked it

A UK-based couple was in for a shock when they discovered that gold, jewellery and cash amounting to about Rs 1 crore were missing from their Santacruz home.

While one of the accused stood on the road and kept watch, the other cut open the window grill in about 30 minutes. The watchman who was fast asleep didn’t notice this taking place. Illustration/Amit Bandre
While one of the accused stood on the road and kept watch, the other cut open the window grill in about 30 minutes. The watchman who was fast asleep didn’t notice this taking place. Illustration/Amit Bandre

They informed the Vakola police, who later arrested the couple’s long-serving driver and his carpenter friend for the crime. The incident occurred at the flat owned by Harjivandas Karia at Nutan Deep society in Prabhat Colony, Santacruz (East).

The Karias, both senior citizens, mostly reside in the United Kingdom. Their children, too, who own a business, are based there. The elderly couple rarely comes to Mumbai.

The robbery was discovered on February 14, when Karia returned to Mumbai and found all valuables missing from his locker. About two kilograms of gold, several diamonds, jewellery, cash (including foreign currency), had been stolen. Karia informed the building secretary, who helped him register a case with the Vakola police.

Police speak
A police officer from Vakola police station said, “We suspected the involvement of the driver, Sujit Singh, as he was the one most known to the couple and spent most of the time with them when they came to Mumbai.

We also rounded up the watchman and other staffers.” Singh was picked up from his house in Gaondevi, Vakola and confessed to the crime after thorough interrogation. He also told cops he had taken the help of a carpenter to break in to the house.

Modus operandi
On the night of February 13, Singh brought along four of his friends at the building, including a carpenter. One of the other accused stood on the road and kept a watch. The carpenter, meanwhile, cut open the window grill in about 30 minutes. The watchman didn’t notice this taking place. After the grill gave in, the accused went in, broke the locker and gathered all the valuables. They left through the same grill and the carpenter fixed the grill back.

‘He was like family’
Cops said Singh had been working with the couple for more than 20 years. His father used to work with the couple, and he naturally got the job after his father. He was almost like a family member. The police officer added, “The carpenter, too, has been arrested. A team has been dispatched to arrest the other two.”

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