A 69-year-old woman was cheated of her jewellery allegedly by two men posing as policemen. The men allegedly duped the woman telling her that she might become a victim of chain snatchers if she did not remove her jewellery. The crime took place on March 3 in south Delhi’s Kalkaji, police said.
Senior police officers suspect the involvement of a Mumbai-based gang of cheats that committed similar crimes across Delhi in the past. The gang members allegedly come to Delhi in flights, dupe gullible women, mostly elderly, of their jewellery by allegedly impersonating as Delhi Police officers, and fly back to Mumbai.
In the latest case, Nilima Dey, who lives with her family in Deshbandhu Apaprtments in Kalkaji, left home around 9 am on Friday to buy milk from a nearby market. In her complaint, Dey told police that she was walking on a footpath when a man, aged between 40 and 45 years, stopped her. “The man was wearing a police uniform. But as he had put a jacket on his body, I could not see his name plate and designation,” Dey told HT adding another man was standing next to him.
According to the woman, the man in uniform identified himself as a Delhi Police officer. The man told her that cases of chain snatching had increased in the locality and she may become another victim if she would walk on streets wearing jewellery.
“The two asked me to remove my gold bangles and gold chain and keep them in my purse. When I told him that my bangles would not come out easily, the policeman asked me to use some oil,” the woman said.
In the meantime, the man asked another bystander to remove his chain citing the same reason. The bystander removed his chain and put it in his pocket. The policeman then asked him to bring coconut oil from a nearby shop.
“The man brought a small coconut oil bottle and poured some oil on my hands. The cop asked me to remove my bangles. When I resisted, he threatened to charge me with Rs 2,000 fine for obstructing a public servant from performing his duties,” she said.
The third man forcibly removed her bangles and gold chain and wrapped them in a paper while the two others kept her busy in the conversation during which they replaced that packet with a similar packet. The three then put the replaced packet in her purse and asked her to leave.
After buying milk, the woman returned home. She opened her purse and took out the packet and found that her original gold bangles were replaced with fake ones. The chain was missing.
A case of theft and cheating was registered at the Kalkaji police station. “However, no breakthrough has been made in the case till date. The incident has left my mother badly shaken and disturbed,” said her son Sudipto Dey, a journalist.