Mumbai: Deaf and mute friend steals from deaf and mute elderly couple

Ronald Venkatswami Shrigadi was arrested by Mulund police after she confessed to stealing gold ornaments worth Rs 6 lakh from the residence of Gurudutt and Veena Prabhu

Navghar police have arrested a 35-year-old deaf and mute woman from Mulund for stealing gold jewellery from the residence of a deaf and mute couple with whom she was well acquainted.

Gurudutt and Veena Prabhu
Gurudutt and Veena Prabhu

Cops apprehended Ronald Venkatswami Shrigadi on Sunday, after she confessed to her crime during questioning. Shrigadi said she entered the house of Gurudutt and Veena Prabhu on the pretext of getting her torn trousers mended and stole the jewellery, worth R6 lakh, before leaving.

Ronald Venkatswami Shrigadi
Ronald Venkatswami Shrigadi

According to police officials, Shrigadi stole the ornaments to fund her ongoing medical treatment. The accused hatched the plot after she visited the house to attend the couple’s wedding anniversary party, on January 5. An officer from Navghar police station said, “The couple’s son had organised the party, for which the accused was one of the invitees. During her time at their residence, Shrigadi surveyed the entire house.

Upon spotting that the couple kept the cupboard unlocked, she decided to steal valuables inside it. She also realised that the elderly couple are usually alone at home with their three-and-a-half-year-old grandson, once their son and daughter-in-law leave for work in the morning.”

Plan executed
On January 16, Shrigadi visited the Prabhus on the pretext of getting her torn trousers mended. She communicated to Veena that she was in the area for some work and made up an excuse to justify her torn trousers.

Assistant Inspector Gahininath Game from Navghar police station said, “While Veena was busy mending her trousers, Shrigadi entered the room in which she had seen the unlocked cupboard and stole a bag containing 10 pieces of gold jewellery. It wasn’t until the elderly couple decided to rearrange the wardrobe that they realised that the jewellery was missing.”

Upon inquiring, the Prabhus told their son about Shrigadi’s visit and suspected her of stealing the jewellery. “The family suspected three deaf and mute women, who were their friends, so we questioned them. Shrigadi confessed to the crime during questioning, and we successfully recovered all the jewellery she had stolen,” Game said.

Shrigadi was booked under Section 380 (theft in dwelling house) of the Indian Penal Code and was produced in the Mulund court where she was released after paying a bail bond of Rs 30,000.

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