A day after Hindustan Times highlighted how vulnerable senior citizens in Mumbai are to crime, the city witnessed another case of robbery involving an elderly couple.
The Nagpada police arrested a 19-year-old domestic help for allegedly robbing valuables worth Rs 11 lakh from the house of a couple of senior citizens. The couple, Shantiben and Sukhraj Vimani had employed the accused, Karsan Choudhary, 10 years ago.
Choudhary lived with them at their Navjeevan Society home on DB Marg while their sons live in Heera Panna Apartments nearby.
The police said neither the couple nor Choudhary was registered with the Nagpada police. Nagpada is the one of the areas where the number of registrations of senior citizens and their service providers such as domestic help is the lowest, said Police Inspector Firoze Patel, who is in charge of Elderline, a helpline for senior citizens.
The Nagpada police claim only 35 domestic help and service providers have been registered with them.
This problem was addressed on Thursday as a part of Hindustan Times’ initiative, Mumbai First.
Assistant Police Inspector Vishwanath Kolekar said Choudhary, who also helped the couple’s sons at their watch showroom in Byculla, was never left alone at home.
“Three days ago Sukhraj was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital for a leg problem and Shantiben was with him,” Kolekar said. “Choudhary who was alone at home, broke the door of the wooden cupboard and robbed valuables worth Rs 11 lakh.”
Choudhary wrapped the valuables in a sheet and hid the parcel on the loft in the bathroom.
“Choudhary went back to work. When Vimani’s older son went to his parents’ house to pick up some things, he noticed the cupboard door broken and valuables missing,” Kolekar said. “He alerted his parents and lodged a complaint.”
The Vimanis did not allow the police to question Choudhary because they treated him as family. The police, however, did not give him a clean chit.
When they questioned him, he broke down and confessed that he had stolen the valuables.
“He had planned to carry on working until investigations fizzled out and then would take the valuables, small amounts at a time, and leave the city,” Kolekar said.
Choudhary has been remanded into police custody until June 7.