Two men, pretending as couriers for a spiritual guru, robbed an 87-year-old woman of Rs 4 lakh in cash and 700gm of gold jewellery at her Thane residence on Wednesday.
The victim, Gulabbai Pukhraj Jain, has been living alone at her fifth floor residence at Suvrat Apartments, Tembi Naka for the past five years. “At around 2pm on Wednesday, two men, believed to be somewhere between 25 and 30 years old, rang the doorbell,” said Nilesh Raut, senior police inspector with the Thane Nagar police station. “They told Jain that they had a parcel with an offering (prasad) from their spiritual guru. Jain let them in and asked them to place the parcel on a table. One of the accused feigned a stomach ache and asked for water.”
When Jain went to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water, the accused followed her. They gagged and tied her to a chair and threatened her with a knife. A petrified Jain told them about the cash and jewellery in the bedroom, the police said. The victim escaped unharmed and was rescued by the neighbours after the accused escaped with the loot.
Two of Jain’s sons stay in Dhobi Ali, a lane next to her apartment. The family deals in gem stones. Bharat Jain, the victim’s son said, “Our mother rarely opened the door for anyone, let alone strangers. However, since the accused referred to our guru, she could not refuse them. Moreover, they were young and she did not suspect them.”
After the accused fled, the woman managed to remove the gag from her face and shouted for help.
The men were not wearing any masks, which helped the police draw up sketches, which were sent to nearby police stations. The Thane Nagar police have registered a case of robbery and trespassing against the accused under sections 452 and 392 of the Indian Penal Code.