Delhi Rs 25-crore jewellery theft: How the police cracked the case
New Delhi, September 29: The Delhi Police scanned footage from over 1,000 CCTV cameras in its probe into the sensational burglary case in the city’s Bhogal area with the main accused, who has been arrested in Chhattisgarh, also “sleeping in the shop overnight” before decamping with jewellery estimated to be of about Rs 25 crore.
The accused, Lokesh Srivas, was arrested in Chhattisgarh in a joint operation by Chhattisgarh and Delhi Police. A Chhattisgarh Police official had said earlier that the accused was “a high-profile thief” and indulged in “big burglaries”. Police officials also said 18kg of gold and diamonds had been seized.
Delhi Police officials said an accomplice of the main accused told the Chhattisgarh Police during questioning that Srivas had committed “a big act” in Delhi. They said the information related to Lokesh Srivas matched the CCTV footage.
“The CCTV footage showed the culprit wearing black trousers and a white shirt and walking with a bag. A mobile number was traced and its location on September 24 matched,” a source said.
In a major incident of burglary in the national capital earlier this week, jewellery of about “Rs 20-25 crore” was stolen after creating a hole in the wall of the strong room of a shop in the Bhogal area.
Delhi Police sources said Kashmere Gate was the first location of the culprit and he travelled by road. “He is seen alone in the CCTV footage,” the source said.
The accused “super chor” single-handedly carried out such a big burglary, they said.
The sources said the culprit went to the building adjacent to the jewellery shop on September 24 and made his exit after committing the burglary on the evening of September 25.
He went to the ISBT through a bus, sources said, adding that footage was scanned to know further details. The police got to know his destination and the police team left for Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur on September 28.
The sources said the Bilaspur Police, which were also probing burglary cases, carried out a raid at the residence of Chandravanshi, who is known to Srivas. However, Srivas managed to flee.
They said the police were told that he had rented a house and was subsequently traced.
A Delhi Police team also reached the place late evening on September 28 and and he was arrested on Friday around 6 am.
The Chhattisgarh Police had earlier said the burglary case in Delhi’s Bhogal area “has been solved” in a joint operation with the Delhi Police and a “high-profile” thief has been arrested.
Additional SP Bilaspur Sanjay Dhruv said the Delhi Police was trying to solve the burglary case in which thieves decamped with jewellery of around Rs 25 crore earlier this week. He said the Bilaspur Police was also trying to solve cases of theft.
The police official said that the accused was a resident of Durg in Chhattisgarh and the district police also had some hint about him.
“In a joint operation of Chhattisgarh Police and Delhi Police, a burglary case in a jewellery shop in Delhi has been solved. The accused has been arrested and further investigation is underway. The accused is a high-profile type of thief... We were constantly monitoring his movement and then further action was taken,” Sanjay Dhruv told ANI.
He said “jewellery stolen has been recovered” in the Delhi theft case and the accused arrested.
The police official said there were cases both in Delhi and Bilaspur regarding burglaries and further action would be taken by the police.
Answering queries about the accused, Dhruv said the accused did not indulge in “small theft crimes” and had indulged in theft worth about Rs 2 crore in Kawardha and the police were tracking him.
He said the Durg Police was also keeping an eye on him as he had been indulging in big thefts in different parts of the country.
“We had been keeping a close eye. When we got to know about Rs 25 crore Delhi theft case, we started keeping an eye on him and coordinated with Delhi Police,” Dhruv said.
Bilaspur SP Santosh Singh said a raid was conducted in Durg in which a person has been arrested.
“Raid was conducted in Durg in which one person has been arrested. Seven-eight cases of robbery are lodged against him in the Bilaspur Police Station,” he said.
He said an accomplice of the accused was held from Kawardha and recovery worth Rs 23 lakh including jewellery and cash was recovered.
The police official said Rs 12.50 lakh in cash and over 18kg of gold and diamonds have been seized from the accused which also include items robbed from a jewellery shop in Delhi (in Bhogal).
Singh said the Delhi Police team had also reached the place.
The official said an inter-state gang was involved and there could be information about more cases.
Delhi Police had said it was a “big incident of burglary” and that they were conducting an investigation.
Sanjeev Jain, owner of the jewellery shop in the Bhogal area which was burgled, had told ANI that they closed the shop on Sunday and when they opened it on Tuesday there was a lot of dust in the entire shop. He said the CCTV camera had been damaged.
“We closed the shop on Sunday and when we opened it on Tuesday after an off on Monday, we saw that there was dust in the whole shop and there was a hole in the wall of the strong room... We think they (thieves) have looted everything. There was jewellery worth around Rs 20-25 crore. They entered from the terrace. Everything is damaged including CCTV. An investigation is underway," he said.
The visuals from the spot showed a big hole in the wall along the staircase.