Till a few months ago, Ravi Goel used to get invitations to give lectures on marketing, but what the 54-year-old could really have held a master class on would be the art of theft.
On Wednesday, police arrested from Hotel Shangri La in Connaught place, the erstwhile "marketing guru" for allegedly stealing laptops from five-star hotels, and selling these to business students.
Goel had lost his job last year due to the global meltdown, said police. He was unable to procure a new job. But laid off Goel, it seemed would not be taking the laidback route.
The 1974 graduate in B.Com, from Deshbandhu college, was a known name in the marketing field and had for long been invited by several multinational companies to give lectures on the subject. Goel also had several important contacts in the field, said police.
The method Goel used to steal the laptops was simple enough.
"The accused checked the website of several business houses and printed fake invitations. As he was in the marketing field for the past 30 years, he knew many professionals," said Shankar Dash, additional commissioner of police (New Delhi).
Goel gained an entry into hotels like the Oberoi, Imperial and Shangrila, wielding his fake invitation as a guest lecturer to a seminar being held there. He would then steal the laptops of delegates and according to police, "sell these laptops to business school students who came to have fun at Central Park in Connaught Place."
But on Wednesday, Goel was not lucky enough to get away.
He was arrested from the Banquet Hall in Hotel Shangrila while he was attending a workshop-cum-exhibition organised by the FICCI, allegedly using a fake delegate card.
"A lunch was organised for the members and guests in a hall adjoining the Conference Hall," said Dash. " At about 2 pm, when the guests left for lunch, they left their laptops and related goods on their respective tables. Goel, while pretending to be eating soup, entered the Conference Hall from the back and lifted one laptop," said the officer.
The guest raised an alarm and alerted the security staff who caught Goel with the laptop.
During interrogation, Goel told police that he had lost his job due to the slowdown and was unable to bag a new one."
Police said Goel, whose wife is a college lecturer and son an engineering student, knew his way around five-star hotels.
"Goel was well acquainted with the five star hotel culture because he worked as a marketing executive. He committed theft due to unemployment," the officer said.