Owing to the discrepancies that surfaced during the investigation, police suspect the involvement of an insider in the robbery that took place at VS Malandkar jewellers in Kandivli (West) in the early hours of Monday.
According to the Kandivli police, the unidentified accused entered the jewellery shop, which is located on Keshwa Nagar Vasantji Lalji Road near the Kandivali station, through a hole drilled in the wall shared with the neighbouring shop. This shop has been locked for more than a decade.
Police said that the hole, which measured 1 foot X 1 foot, appears to have been created to mislead the police into believing that the accused had entered the shop through the hole.
“The hole is very small and can only allow a child to pass through,” said a senior police inspector on condition of anonymity.
“We did not find finger prints in the shop and sniffer dogs have been unable to detect anything. More importantly, the accused struck the day the owner forgot to take his vault keys home, leaving them in office,” said the police officer.
Moreover, the shop’s owner, Shankar Malandkar, in his initial statement to the police, said that the accused stole 5kg of gold and 65kg of silver jewellery from the shop, worth between Rs30-Rs45 lakh.
However, on questioning the employees, police realised that the owner’s estimate of the quantity of stolen ornaments was much higher than the estimate provided by the employees.
“While the owner, in his new statement, said that 1.5 kg of gold and ‘some’ quantity of silver was stolen, employees said that less than half a kilogram of gold was missing from the shop. The jewellery shop is small and it is hard to believe the owner’s estimate,” said the police officer.
There were no closed circuit televisions installed in the shop. The owner claimed that he could not afford them.