A senior citizen in Churchgate was rescued, her ornaments were saved and two thieves were caught on Thursday, thanks to an alert cook and brave neighbours.
The incident took place around 3 pm at Sikka Nagar. Pramila Modi (61), the landlady of Udamsi Bhuvan, was home alone when someone rang the doorbell.
Expecting her cook, Modi opened the door to find two Nepalese men who claimed to be friends of her cook. “They asked for water and she opened the safety door,” a police official said.
The moment she opened the door, she was pushed inside and her hands were tied.
“When she tried to scream, the duo threatened her with a sickle and gagged her,” the police official said, requesting anonymity.
“They took her gold chain and ring. When she offered them her earrings, they rejected it and demanded the keys to her cupboard. When she said she did not have the keys, they broke open the cupboard and took what cash was inside.”
Luckily for Modi, her cook was on the staircase when the thieves barged in and he ran for help to the police station, which is next door, alerting neighbours along the way. When the residents banged on the door, the duo panicked and jumped out from a grill-less window onto the terrace of the next building, which belongs to the Patel family.
Four members of the family heard the racket and went to inspect their terrace, where they encountered the thieves. They beat them up and dragged them to the police with the help of other residents.
“We never thought of hiring security as the police station is next door,” said Indumati Solanki, a resident who was also attacked at home by a robber last year.
The arrested duo - Dhanbahadur Thapa (34) and Dal Bahadur Shershta (22) - are friends of Modi’s cook.
The V.P. Road police said that when the cook met the duo a few days ago, he had told them that his employers are very rich. “This prompted the duo to rob the place,” the police officer said.