Lure of quick money pushed her to breach employer's trust; made away with booty when student was asleep
In most cases of thefts and robberies, the needle of suspicion falls on domestic helps working in the house. But the Somani family was in for a rude shock, when they realised that the trusted tuition teacher of their children was the culprit who decamped with Rs 20 lakh worth of jewellery from their Kandivli residence.
Broken trust: The tuition teacher was aware that the keys and the
password to the locker were kept in the cupboard
The accused Hetal Tanna (36) had managed to secure the password for the digital safe and had made away with ornaments worth Rs 20 lakh on October 7.
According to Kinnari Somani (31), she was in for a shock when she opened the digital safe on Monday to take out the jewellery, which she wanted to wear for a family function, only to find the ornaments missing. She immediately lodged a police complaint. During investigation, Somani informed the police that she had last opened the safe on September 15, and nobody else, other than her knew the password.
According to the Raghunath Dalvi, SPI of Unit XI of Crime Branch, Somanis had two domestic helps and had hired Hetal to teach their son and daughter, who are in class 10th and 3rd respectively. He said that initially, they had suspected the three, but allowed them to go after questioning.
"To avoid suspicion, Hetal kept on regularly inquiring about the progress of the police investigations, giving an impression to the Somanis that she was equally concerned about the theft. This aroused our suspicion, and we started questioning her again. After a few denials, she eventually broke down and confessed to her crime," said Dalvi.
Hetal, who resides in the nearby area, was present in the house on October 10. While teaching, Somani's daughter fell asleep following which Hetal took her to the bedroom. On realising that the safe was unguarded, she took the opportunity, opened the cupboard using the keys that were kept in the nearby drawer, secured the code for the safe and stole the ornaments.
"Hetal was aware that Somani had written down the security code and had kept it safely inside the cupboard, near the safe. She procured the password and stole the jewellery," said Dalvi.
"I was shocked, as I had never suspected Hetal. She was very close to us and comes from a decent family," said Kinnari, whose husband is a clearing agent at the airport.
According to Hetal, since the theft, her conscience had been pricking her. She also said that it was the allure of the quick money that pushed her to commit the crime. Currently Hetal is in police custody and will be produced in the court today. The entire booty has been recovered.