Thieves drilled a hole in the iron safe of a jewellery shop in Arnala, Virar in the early hours of Saturday and fled with 1.2kg gold, 5kg silver and Rs1.5 lakh.
The gold and silver are worth Rs38.5 lakh. The thieves are yet to be identified.
Police said the thieves entered Bhawani Jewellers from the rear entrance and used gas cutters to break the iron door, a wooden door and a grill.
No arrests have been made so far as the shop neither has CCTV cameras nor a security guard that can help police identify the culprits.
“I had kept the jewellery and the cash I earned on Friday in the vault as banks are closed on Saturday. I would have deposited the cash on Tuesday. However, when I opened the shop on Saturday, I was shocked to find all the jewellery and cash missing from the vault,” said Lalit Soni, shop owner
“It is shocking that Soni had neither installed CCTV cameras nor employed security guards to man his shop,” said police inspector Kerubhau Kolhe of the Arnala Coastal police station. “We warned jewellers in Vasai and Virar to install CCTV cameras and employ armed watchmen several times. They never listen,” he said.
We have registered a case under sections 454,457 (house trespass), and 380 (theft) under the Indian Penal Code. The investigation is ongoing, he added.
“Jewellers have been hit by demonetisation and business is down. Now, thieves are looting shops. This is the third incident in Virar with the same modus operandi of using gas cutters,” said Ravi Purohit, secretary, Virar Jewellers’ Association.
Earlier, Meenakshi Jewellers were looted of jewellery worth Rs1.5 crore. Jewellery worth Rs2.41 crore was stolen from Omkar Jewellers.