Mumbai's lady Sherlock! Housewife nabs thief maid on phone camera

When Gala household started missing money, the woman of the house launched her own probe

The camera phone records the maid in the act as she rifles through the Gala’s cupboard

Ajay and Bhavna Gala, tired of the daily bickering over how bits of cash were disappering from their bedroom cupboard, were wondering how they would solve this mystery.

They had already lost around Rs 40,000 in two months. Bhavna, a homemaker with an LLB degree decided to channel her inner Byomkesh Bakshi. No fancy gadgetry or police help was needed. All she had was a cell phone with a camera and ingenuity to crack the case.

Turns out, as she discovered on Sunday, it was her house help who had been cleaning them out and after a failed few attempts, Bhavna, managed to capture the whole act on her phone. Following this, Malad police yesterday arrested 36-year-old Annapurna Pandit Khadse, a mother of four and resident of Orlem, for allegedly robbing the Galas.

Interestingly, Khadse had been in the employment of the Gala household, a joint family of seven at Adarsh Nagar, for last three years and before this, had given them no reason to doubt her integrity.

According to a police official, "The family didn’t want to accuse anyone without concrete proof, however, after it began occurring regularly, the homemaker suspected foul play. There was even talk of getting a digital locker, but she didn’t want to let the culprit escape. She then placed her mobile phone near the cash with the camera on. The domestic help noticed the phone and turned it off, thus evading getting caught."

Homemaker Bhavna GalaHomemaker Bhavna Gala

The officer added, "But, she didn't give up and the next time, placed the phone at a place where it couldn’t be spotted at the other end of the room. This time, her mission was successful and she managed to capture the whole act on camera, along with the face of the perpetrator."

On Sunday, they approached Malad police with the evidence and filed a complaint. "We have arrested the accused under section 380 of the IPC and she will be produced before the court on Tuesday to get remand for further inquiry," said the officer.

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