The jewel thief had said she would pay cash on delivery of jewellery, but made off with the necklaces instead; cops suspect she may have used same modus operandi to dupe others
The police are on the lookout for a burkha-clad woman who duped a Delhi-based jewellery designer and made off with necklaces worth Rs 18 lakh. While the cops have not been able to identify her because of the veil, they have learnt that she had also attempted to dupe a jewellery store in Bandra using the same modus operandi.
A grab from the CCTV footage from Peter Dias Road, where the accused had asked the jewellery designer to send the necklaces. Cops have been unable to identify her from the video because of the burkha
Jewellery designer Kavita Gogna filed a complaint with Bandra police station on September 24, saying three gold necklaces worth Rs 18 lakh had been stolen by one Rashida.
“On August 23, I had an exhibition at JW Marriott, Juhu, where Rashida had approached me. She said she had liked three of the displayed necklaces and wanted to buy them for her daughter’s wedding,” Gogna told mid-day, adding that Rashida left the venue after taking her visiting card.
Rashida then called her and repeated that she wanted to buy the jewellery, but requested that she be allowed to pay cash on delivery.
“We have a policy to deliver goods only after payment. However, later, I sent a delivery boy to the address she gave me — Peter Dias Road in Bandra.”
Rashida was wearing the burkha at home as well, and when the delivery boy reached her apartment, she asked him to wait while she took the ornaments downstairs to her daughter’s apartment and returned with the money. “The woman escaped from the spot after taking all the jewellery,” said Gogna.
She passed on Rashida’s phone number to the cops, who discovered through her call records that she had approached quite a few jewellery designers and stores under the same pretext, and had even targeted a Tanishq store in Bandra.
“We went through her CDR and learnt that she had contacted several other jewellery designers, and targetted a Tanishq store too. The store didn’t lose any jewellery, thanks to their salesman’s alertness,” said an officer from Bandra police station.
The cops realised that Rashida had been in constant touch with the Tanishq store in August, and they called one of the store’s employees to the police station. The employee revealed that Rashida had placed an order for ornaments worth R60 lakh and had asked for them to be delivered to an apartment in Bandra. This address, however, was not the same she had given to designer Gogna.
“The woman called the store’s delivery man to the 10th floor of the building and claimed that she wanted to show the jewellery to her daughter who was on the fourth floor. When the salesman said he would accompany her since he couldn’t hand over the jewellery before payment, she accompanied him till the fourth floor and then fled the spot,” the officer said.
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The police suspect Rashida may have struck other shops also, and have registered a case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Despite possessing CCTV footage of the woman, they are yet to identify her, as she was well disguised in a burkha.
DCP (Zone IX) Satyanarayan Choudhary said, “The case has been registered and investigations are on.”