Thane police crack Vajreshwari temple theft, nab five

Updated: May 22, 2019, 15:54 IST | Samiullah Khan

According to the police, in the wee hours of May 10, the dacoits carrying swords and knives entered the Vajreshwari temple from the backside

Thane police crack Vajreshwari temple theft, nab five
Police have recovered Rs 2.83 lakh from the arrested accused. Pic/Hanif Patel

More than 10 days after a group of eight men broke into the Vajreshwari temple in Bhiwandi taluka and stole Rs 7 lakh from the donation box, the Thane Rural Crime Branch arrested five of them and recovered a part of the booty and two bikes that were used for the crime.

According to the police, in the wee hours of May 10, the dacoits carrying swords and knives entered the temple from the backside. When the night security guard tried to stop them, they tied his hands and legs with ropes and even taped his mouth so that he couldn't make any noise. Then they broke open the door and donation box with the help of screwdrivers and fled with the cash. The next morning devotees visiting the temple alerted the Ganeshpuri police. Following a complaint filed by a local Kathod Laxman Kode, the Ganeshpuri cops registered a case under section 395 of IPC and started the investigation along with the local Crime Branch. Requesting anonymity, a police officer said, "The temple's CCTV footage shows eight masked people entering the premises from the backside. It also reveals that the accused reached the temple in bikes and cars, and fled in them after committing the theft."

Also Read: Armed dacoits loot Bhiwandi temple of Rs 7 lakh cash given in donation

Police sources said informers helped them trace the accused, who were nabbed from Dadra Nagar and Haveli, Shahapur and Jawahar areas. A total of `2.83 lakh cash and two bikes have been recovered from them. The arrested accused have been identified as Govind Gimbhal from Jawahar in Palghar district, Vineet Chimda, Bharat Wagh, Jagdish Kashinath Navtare and Praveen Kashinath Navtare from Shahapur in Thane.

The officer further said, "During interrogation the accused revealed the names of three others who are absconding. They also said that they did recce of the temple several times before the theft, and were aware that it received the highest amount of donation on Thursdays."

Pramod Badhak, assistant police inspector from the local crime branch said, "The arrested accused have criminal records and each of them have been caught earlier in burglary cases. Search is on to nab the remaining accused in the case."

Also Read: Pune: Ekvira temple spire stolen in 2017 found; two arrested

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