Mumbai: Gang robs jewellery store after bribing watchman with whiskey

In exchange for a tipple, he let the gang enter his cabin, which shares a wall with the shop; the gang of four robbers broke the common wall, entered the shop, and robbed ornaments worth Rs 17 lakh

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough,” writer Mark Twain had quipped once. And all it took a gang of robbers to convince a watchman to allow them to use his cabin to enter the adjoining jewellery store to steal from it was a quarter of whiskey.

Watchman Karan Bahadur asked the gang of robbers what he would get in return for allowing them to enter his cabin and make a hole in the wall to the jewellery shop. “A whiskey bottle,” he was told, and Bahadur agreed
Watchman Karan Bahadur asked the gang of robbers what he would get in return for allowing them to enter his cabin and make a hole in the wall to the jewellery shop. “A whiskey bottle,” he was told, and Bahadur agreed

Unit XI of Mumbai Crime Branch learnt this while investigating the robbery in Dahisar. The robbery occurred in Kamal Jewellers in Dahisar (West) on the intervening night between January 24 and January 25. The tipple-loving watchman was identified as Karan Bahadur.

As Bahadur enjoyed his drink, the robbers entered the shop. They broke the locker using a gas cutter, provided by Rahul Yadav
As Bahadur enjoyed his drink, the robbers entered the shop. They broke the locker using a gas cutter, provided by Rahul Yadav

A Crime Branch official said the guard had joined only a couple of days ago as a temporary replacement for the earlier watchman, who had gone to his native place. The residential society which had employed Bahadur had not taken any of his details or records.

While leaving, the robbers told Bahadur, who was already drunk, to escape since the police were sure to arrest him for the crime. Illustration/Amit Bandre
While leaving, the robbers told Bahadur, who was already drunk, to escape since the police were sure to arrest him for the crime. Illustration/Amit Bandre

Bahadur’s cabin at the society gate shares a wall with the jewellery store. Bahadur allegedly knew one of the robbers and happened to share this piece of information with him. Taking advantage of this, the gang decided to break into the store.

The gang asked Bahadur to let them enter his cabin in order to gain entry into the shop, and Bahadur was happy to oblige in exchange for a quarter of whiskey. “Do what you want,” he told the gang, as he set about to enjoy his drink, and later slept off. The gang broke down the wall, entered the shop and cut open the locker with a gas cutter.

The gang decamped with booty worth Rs 17 lakh; but before fleeing, they made sure to warn Bahadur to run away as well, since police were sure to nab him for the crime.

When the owner opened his shop in the morning, he found his locker had been broken into, and the wall to his shop also the wall for the watchman’s cabin had a gaping hole. He then informed the cops and registered a case with the MHB Colony police station.

The arrests
Crime Branch started a parallel investigation as well. Shivaji Dahifode, a constable from Unit XI, happened to notice the bill for a newly purchased mobile phone that showed the IMEI number of the phone. Cops began tracing the location of the mobile phone through this number.

“We found that the mobile with this IMEI number is active and the location of that device was showing Ahmedabad. We immediately sent our team there and arrested the accused building watchman (Bahadur) who allowed the robbers to enter the shop,” said Manohar Hadpude, assistant police inspector (API), Unit XI, Crime Branch.

Upon questioning, Bahadur pointed out the role of one Rahul Yadav, who had provided the gas cutter and had been paid a sum for his services. Another accused, Anwar, was arrested by the Kalyan Government Railway Police (GRP) on January 26, during checking at Kalyan station.

Anwar, who was trying to flee to his native place in Uttar Pradesh, couldn’t explain why his bag contained so many ornaments, was nabbed on the spot. Police also managed to recover around Rs 5-6 lakh from his person. However, Kamruddin Shaikh, the mastermind and a wanted man in many bank robbery cases, and another accused robber are still absconding. Police said he has used the same modus operandi on other occasions as well.

A Crime Branch official confirmed Bahadur had not been paid anything except the alcohol. Yadav had been paid a certain sum for providing the cutter. Yadav and Bahadur were produced before Borivli court and remanded in police custody. The GRP are yet to hand over custody of Anwar.

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