Four armed assailants on motorcycles allegedly robbed a 62-year-old jeweller of Rs 1.5 crore (15 million) on Wednesday, seconds after he stepped out of his Ashok Vihar house in northwest Delhi.
The crime was committed a mere 500 metres from the local police station.
The jeweller, Puran Chand Bansal, was on his way to a bank when the robbery took place.
The incident occurred around 10.45 am, as Puran Chand Bansal and his daughter-in-law Jyoti Gupta (33) were crossing the street to a family car parked opposite their posh residence in C2 block, police said.
Bansal owns two jewellery shops — one at the Central Market in Ashok Vihar, and the other at Sadar Bazar in North Delhi.
According to police, Puran Chand and Jyoti were each carrying a bag of money and heading to a local bank to deposit a few days’ collection from Bansal’s shops — allegedly amounting to Rs 1.5 crore, when they were approached by two young men on a motorcycle.
“The men made no attempt to disguise themselves by wearing helmets and seemed to have been waiting for Bansal, since they suddenly appeared and threatened him with a country-made pistol as soon as he stepped out of his house,” said NS Bundela, deputy commissioner of police (northwest).
“As soon as they got possession of the bags, they (the bikers) zoomed past and joined their accomplices — another biker and his pillion — waiting a few metres away from Bansal’s residence.”
Residents alleged that this was not the first time that such an incident had taken place in the locality.
“While chain-snatchings are a regular feature here, a resident’s driver was shot down by a gang of robbers a year ago, because he tried to intervene when they were trying to rob his employer of Rs 50 lakh,” said a resident who did not wish to be named.
The residents feel that there is more to the latest incident of snatching than meets the eye. “This has to be the work of an informant,” said Kishandas (42), a driver. “The robbery has been carried out with precision and in a professional manner; the gang must have been watching this household for weeks.”
“The family is in shock and in agreement with the statement made by the police,” said a family member.