A day after an armed robbery was foiled in south Mumbai, three unknown persons robbed a jewellery store in Ghatkopar on Friday and escaped with 2kg gold worth Rs. 56 lakh.
Ghatkopar police said the trio entered RG Jewellers on MG road in Kapol Wadi area under the pretext of buying gold. Once inside, two of them threatened the owner with guns, collected the valuables and coolly melted into the crowd outside.
At around 11.30am, 38-year-old Tanaklal Shah was alone in his shop.
“The trio walked inside and started checking some jewellery,” said Chandrakant Puri, sub-inspector with the Ghatkopar police station.
“A few minutes later, two of them pulled out guns and threatened Shah. They stuffed the valuables in their sack and fled the spot. The CCTV camera and anti-theft alarm in the shop were out of order for the past two months.”
Police added that the trio threatened to shoot Shah if he stepped out of the shop after they left.
“Shah was terrorised. Instead of raising an alarm, he chose to call the neighbouring shopkeepers on the phone to inform them of the robbery. One of the shopkeepers then called the police,” Puri said.
In his statement to the police, Shah claimed that the accused had visited the shop few days ago.
“The shop has only one employee, Yogesh Kshirsagar, who was out on some work when the incident took place.”
Deepak Chawda, owner of SB Jewelers, which is located next to Shah's shop, said he was completely unaware of what was happening next door till Shah called him up.
“We rushed to his shop but the accused had already escaped,” Chawda said.
“It is shocking that something like this can happen on a crowded road in broad daylight.”
However, Shantilal Bafna, president of the Central-Eastern Bombay Jewellers Association squarely blamed shopkeepers for their laxity.
“We have made it mandatory for all jewellery shops to put up CCTV cameras and to employ a security guard. However, few obey the rules,” Bafna said.
Police suspect insider involvement in the crime and are interrogating those who had worked at the shop in the past. A case has been registered against unknown persons.