In a broad daylight robbery in the heart of the city, an unmasked unidentified man fired at a jewellery shop salesman in Sector 22 and looted 19 gold chains valued at around Rs 8 lakh before coolly escaping from the spot, even as the sector's police post is located just 100 m from the crime scene.
It was 11 am and the shop, Karan Jewellers, located near the traffic light points dividing Sectors 22 and 23, had just opened for the day, when the robber, caught on CCTV cameras, walked in and asked the salesman, Paramjit Singh alias Sonu, 38, to show him some bracelets. The robber asked for one to be weighed and as Sonu did his bidding, he fired at him from a .32 country-made bore pistol.
Robber stayed in shop for 20 minutes
The looter did not seem to fear that he could be caught (he remained in the shop for 20 minutes) and took his time executing the crime. Sources said he was carrying two pistols and one malfunctioned as he was about to fire. He calmly took out the second pistol, fired at Sonu and reloaded the weapon. As Sonu lay in a pool of blood, he gathered the jewellery trays with the chains and put them in a black bag.
Helper raised alarm
Interestingly, even as he exited the shop, CCTV footage shows another helper with Sonu, Swamy Narain, entering the shop with a bucket in hand. It was he who raised the alarm. Shopkeepers in the neighbourhood rushed Sonu to the Inscol hospital in Sector 34, from where he was referred to Fortis. He will be operated upon on Tuesdsay.
Media arrived before police
As soon as the news spread, a PCR van, area DSP Ashish Kapoor and SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill arrived at the spot, though reporters had arrived before them. However, Sector-17 SHO Dilsher Singh Chandel was the first to reach the spot. The CCTV footage was procured and a case under Section 397 (robbery or dacoity) of the IPC was registered on a complaint from the shop owner, Lakhwinder Singh.
The robber's appearance
CCTV footage and eyewitness versions show that the well-built robber seemed to be in his early 20s. He wore a brown cap and blue denims with a V-shaped Adidas white shirt.
Escaped as police stood clueless
Reflecting poorly on police functioning, the robber came out of the shop and ran towards the block of government houses nearby, where he could have parked his car (make unknown). All this failed to arouse any suspicion in traffic cops posted across the road, opposite the shop. The CCTV installed in the market corridor was not functional, even as its control room is with the sector 17 police station. The owner Lakhwinder Singh said: "I have no clue on who could have done this. The helper Sonu, a resident of Sector 23, has been working with me for more than five years."
Sector-22 police post in-charge Jaspal Singh was sent to the police lines soon after the incident. Sources said that he had been briefed that as there were many jeweller shops in the area, he was required to be extra careful, yet the loot was carried out.