Pune temple thief nabbed after god-fearing dad goes to cops

Jul 10, 2015, 07:03 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

When the robber went home in a drunken stupor, laden with jewels from the temple, his father began to fear retribution from the cops and the heavens, and went to the police station the very next day

The jewel thief who looted jewels worth Rs 44 lakh from the prestigious Mandai Ganpati temple on Wednesday, had barely a day to enjoy the spoils before his father fearing retribution from cops and the heavens told on him.

Vijay Kundale had barely a day to enjoy his spoils, as his father told on him the very next morning, resulting in a quick arrest
Vijay Kundale had barely a day to enjoy his spoils, as his father told on him the very next morning, resulting in a quick arrest

With the help of this unexpected information, the police were able to track down the robber and nab him, just as he was attempting another theft at a city court. The theft of ornaments from the temple’s famed Sharada-Ganesh idol had sent the police scrambling, but the cops were in for a pleasant surprise when the very next morning, the robber’s father turned up at the police station with some of the missing jewellery and plenty of information about the crime.

Inspector Nitin Bhosale-Patil, in charge of Kothrud police station said, “I was shocked when I saw the father, an auto rickshaw driver, carrying the jewellery into the police station. At first, I thought some passengers might have left the ornaments behind his vehicle. But then the auto driver fell at my feet and said those were the temple jewels that were stolen by his son.”

The auto driver, Narayan Kundale had heard of the theft at the temple and grew worried when he saw his son enter their home laden with jewels. “I am sorry for the incident. I had heard about a theft taking place at the temple, but never thought that my son would be involved, or that he would steal from Ganpati.

On Wednesday night, my son walked into the house and I noticed that he was under the influence of liquor and was wearing gold chains and a necklace. When I asked him where he got them, he did not reply. All night I wondered what I should do, and finally approached the police with the ornaments,” Narayan told mid-day.

He handed over two gold chains and the goddess Sharada’s diamond necklace valued at Rs 20 lakh to the police. He told them that his son, Vijay, was addicted to ganja and had committed the crime to fund his drug habit. He also told the police that Vijay had probably also committed the crime under the influence of ganja.

Based on this information, the cops began to search for the accused and finally arrested him at 5 pm last evening, just as he was about to attempt another robbery at Shivajinagar court, of all places. While the jewel thief is now behind bars, the jewels those that were recovered are back on the idol in the temple, after which a mahapuja was held at 7 pm yesterday.

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