Accused from Nepal and Jharkhand loot jewellery worth Rs 3.20 crore with expert precision
The accused and the recovered jeweller in police custody
The accused who broke into a jeweller's shop and looted jewellery worth Rs 3.20 crore had a meticulous plan involving 11 individuals from Nepal and Jharkhand. These technically proficient accused left no traceable clues, never made phone calls, and communicated solely through messenger apps. Even the former watchman was bribed to secure the job for a gang member.
On June 28, Purushottam Badlani, the owner of Vijayalaxmi Jeweller, informed Ulhasnagar police about a break-in. The vault was cut using gas cutters, and unidentified persons stole 6kg of golden ornaments valued at Rs 3.20 crore. Initial investigation revealed the missing watchman and his wife from the same morning. An offence was registered against unknown individuals at Ulhasnagar police station under housebreaking and other sections.
Ulhasnagar police, with three crime branch units, including the property cell, initiated a search operation. "The accused had meticulously planned, procuring gas cylinders and cutters on the shop's terrace. They chose Monday night knowing the shop was closed on Tuesday," stated an official from the property cell. "By the time the shop owner discovered the break-in, the accused had already reached the Nepal border," the official added.
DCP (crime) Shivraj Patil led the three units of the crime branch in the investigation. The property cell identified that the accused travelled through Vapi, Jaipur, Delhi, and Gauriphanta (UP) to cross the Nepal border, relying on public transport. "As we started working, the accused had already crossed the border. We focused on analysing the CCTV footage, call details, and bank records of potential suspects. This aided in narrowing down the suspects," another official explained.
During this investigation, the police were alerted that one of the suspects was located at Ghodbunder Road. A team was promptly dispatched, leading to the arrest of three suspects on August 14. These suspects were identified as Madhav Giri, Dinesh alias Sagar Chandra Rawal, and Deepak Bhandari, all residents of Nepal. "The accused had returned to Thane after distributing the stolen loot in Nepal and were planning another heist," added another official.
"Interrogations revealed that around 11 individuals were involved in the crime. Upon targeting a jewellery shop, they found a security guard present. The gang paid the guard and requested him to quit," shared Anand Raorane, senior inspector of the property cell. "The two of the gang members – a couple - posed as security guards, while the others rented a room in Kalyan," he added.
The accused avoided direct calls, opting for Facebook Messenger, which complicated tracking efforts. Despite this challenge, the police managed to recover 550 grams of gold worth Rs 33 lakh.
"These individuals are technologically adept and meticulously planned their actions, making it difficult for the police to track them. They believed they couldn't be pursued, so they planned another heist and returned to Thane. The arrest of these suspects also revealed their involvement in a similar break-in in October 2022 in Kamothe, Navi Mumbai," mentioned another officer. This gang has carried out comparable offences in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka.