Solving Crime: Denied discount, robber steals jewellery worth Rs 1.24 crore; CCTV footage helps police nab him

Jewellery thefts are not uncommon and the incentive for the robbers almost always is quick money. But a recent one in Dadar was unique as besides the lure of easy money, the accused had another motive to commit the crime: The shop owner had denied him a discount while purchasing a ring.

The theft in question took place on August 24 at the Dadar jewellery store. The complainant, Sonali Mutkekar, 46, who owns GB Pednekar Jewellery shop on RK Vaidya Road in Dadar West, had gone for lunch at her house between 2 pm and 4 pm.

When she returned to her shop, she realised that someone had broken in and fled with jewellery, following which the police registered a first information report (FIR).

Vinod Rambali Singh, 52, allegedly involved in several break-ins at jewellery shops across the country, along with his accomplice, kept working at the window grill of the jewellery shop for days before the break-in, said the police. He then stayed hidden on his building terrace for five days and even tried to get the stolen jewellery worth Rs 1.24 crore melted before the crime branch team nabbed him based on a footage where his accomplice was seen lurking around for two days before the crime.

An officer said that the accused had done a proper study of the shop and found that while they kept all the jewellery in the locker at night, during the lunch break, the jewellery was lying in the display showcase. Crime branch (unit V) conducting a parallel probe in the matter studied the CCTV cameras in and around the shops for the past few weeks.

“While going through the CCTV footage of the shop, we found two men there two days before the crime,” a crime branch officer said. The police, through their sources, identified one of the men as Vinod Rambali Singh, who had previous cases of jewellery looting registered against him.

The police found that Singh resided in Virar and sent a team to nab him from where he was arrested. The police found that he had given the stolen jewellery to his accomplice who was on his way to Ahmedabad to get it melted. “We knew once the jewellery is melted it will be difficult to recover it. Immediately a team was sent to Ahmedabad and his accomplice, Paras Jagolia, was nabbed before the jewellery could be melted,” said Ghanshyam Nair, senior inspector, crime branch (unit V).

During questioning, Singh told the police that a month back while he was looking for a shop to target, he landed in this shop. He liked a ring and wanted to purchase it but the owner refused to give him a discount of even Rs 2,000. “At that point, he decided he was going to target the shop even if it had fewer valuables than other shops. Also, since the staff consisted of women, they felt it would be easier,” the officer added.

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