A 30-year-old man was arrested last week for allegedly stealing jewellery worth lakhs from a flat in his own building. The Colaba police, who arrested the accused, learnt that he had asked two children to help him by tempting them with chocolates.
The accused was identified as Robin Velangani (30), an unemployed man who stays on the second floor of the building in Ganesh Lane, Colaba market. The alleged incident occurred on March 15 at the house of Aditya Gupta, an LIC agent, who stays in the same building. His wife takes private tuition for children, at her home.
On that day, at around 6 pm, Aditya left his house to go to Sion. Other family members had also left the house and the main door was locked. At 9.15 pm, Aditya got a call from his niece, Vaishnavi, who told him that when she entered the house, she saw that the cupboard in the bedroom was open and the locker inside had no gold jewellery in it. Aditya asked the school-going child to not touch anything and inform her father.
As soon as Aditya reached home, he saw that all gold jewellery was missing and a medal and some documents, which were inside the cupboard, lay on the bed. When he asked Vaishnavi if the main door lock had been broken, she replied in the negative. The house also has an entry from outside through the bathroom, and Aditya found that this door had a broken lock. He then registered a case with the Colaba police station.
Police said the accused had lured two children, who attended tuition classes at the victim’s house, to help him. PSI Ravindra Patil, from Colaba police station, said, “Two Std IV students of Mrs Gupta told their teacher, after learning of the theft, that Velangani had asked them to open the lock of the bathroom door from inside, when they came for classes in the morning. He gave them chocolates for doing this.”
Velangani entered the house through the bathroom and made away with jewellery worth Rs 3.85 lakh. He was arrested the next day after the two children told on him. “We have taken down the statements of both the children. They identified Velangani when we showed them his picture,” said a police officer.
Velangani was booked under Sections 454 (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking) and 380 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code. He has been remanded in judicial custody till April 4. Police said he has a previous case of assault against him.