The Amboli police have cracked a smoothly-executed grand theft in which the accused arrived with two trucks at a spa situated on Link Road, Andheri (W), and took away almost everything in it in the middle of a busy market as everyone watched.
The heist’s mastermind, a scrap dealer, aided by the spa’s watchman, brought two trucks with more than 15 labourers and emptied out the spa of costly equipment worth over Rs 65 lakh. Unluckily for the thieves, CCTV cameras recorded the whole incident.
The police first arrested watchman Suresh Thakur, 35, on Sunday. He led them to the scrap dealer, Ashok alias Raju Prajapati, 25, who was picked up from his warehouse in Kurla. Both the accused have been sent to police custody and equipment worth Rs 25 lakh has been recovered from the warehouse.
Labour of theft
The incident took place at Chanda Sparsh spa situated above a luxury car showroom on Link Road. Having suffered losses, the spa, owned by RK Jain, had been closed for over five months. It was maintained by caretaker Sachin Sharma, the complainant in the case, and watchman Thakur.
The police said watchman Thakur had made a set of duplicate keys to the spa well in advance, and the accused were just waiting for the right time to strike. It came on January 29, when caretaker Sharma went out of town to attend to some family business.
According to Assistant Police Inspector Irfan Sheikh of Amboli police station, Thakur informed Prajapati that Sharma was away. Soon, Prajapati arranged for over two trucks, carrying over 15 labourers, to arrive at the commercial complex housing the spa.
Around 9.30 pm, Thakur opened the door with the duplicate keys and the labourers started loading the equipment onto the trucks. The CCTV footage shows Thakur and Prajapati superintending the heist without fear or hesitance.
The duo took away almost everything from the spa: computers, fitness machines, exercise and massage paraphernalia, fax machine, LCD screen, music player, and even CCTV cameras kept ins tore among several other items, which in all were worth over Rs 65 lakh.
Right under their noses
API Sheikh said, “When several shop owners in the commercial building asked Thakur and Prajapti why they were taking all the gear away, the accused coolly explained to them that the spa was being shifted to another place due to dire financial straits.”
“After cleaning out the spa, which took about an hour, the two drove away with both the trucks full. They escaped in front of everyone. They unloaded some of the equipment at the warehouse in Kurla,” Sheikh added.
Said spa caretaker Sharma, “When I went to the spa late at night and opened the door, I was shocked to see that everything was gone. We approached the Amboli police station and registered a case.”
After the incident, Thakur went missing. When the police went through the CCTV footage, they were appalled to see Thakur helping in moving the goods and shaking hands with another person, Prajapati.
A detection team laid a trap and arrested Thakur on Saturday evening. After interrogation, Thakur spilled the beans on Prajapati, who was arrested on Sunday night from his Kurla warehouse where half the equipment was kept.
The cops brought the equipment to the police station. The arrested duo was produced before the court and remanded in police custody.
API Sheikh added, “Investigations are on to nab a few more accused in the case.”