Nirmal Jain had pulled out all the stops to secure his jewellery shop at Ghatkopar by installing a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera and an anti-burglary alarm in the safe.
But, despite the security, four armed men managed to break into BB Jewellers on Thursday morning, and steal cash and jewellery worth Rs 8 lakh.
And while fleeing they thrashed the watchman and shot at a police constable, who tried to catch them. While the bullet missed the constable, he fractured his hand. The watchman, however, is in a critical condition at KEM hospital.
“We have registered a case of attempt to murder and robbery against the four unidentified men. The role of an insider in the crime cannot be ruled out,” said Sanjay Shintre, deputy commissioner of police (zone 7).
Around 4.15am, the four men, their faces covered with handkerchiefs, parked a brown Indica outside BB Jewellers located on the ground floor of Anil Kunj building in Ghatkopar (East).
On hearing someone trying to break the lock of the shop's shutter, watchman Rambhanudas Ravan, 60, went to investigate. One of the men hit him on the head with an iron rod and he fell unconscious, the police said.
“The robbers neither switched on the lights, nor touched the safe, where most of the ornaments are kept. This indicates that they knew that the safe had an anti-burglary alarm,” said an officer from Pant Nagar police station.
When the robbers were getting into their car with the loot, constables Santosh Gaikwad and Vikas Rajapure, who were patrolling the area, saw the shop’s shutter broken into.
As Rajapure approached the car, one of the men attacked him with the iron rod. While Rajapure lifted his hand to protect his head, another man fired at him. Rajapure ducked and the bullet missed him.
Gaikwad rushed to his colleague’s aid, the car sped away.
The constables took Ravan to Rajawadi hospital and also informed the police control room.
Ravan was later shifted to KEM hospital. Rajapure, who has sustained a fracture, is being treated at Wockhardt hospital. Rattled by the daring robbery, Arup Patnaik, commissioner of police, Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police (law and order), and Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), inspected the spot and even held a meeting with officers of the Pant Nagar police station.
The crime branch, too, is conducting a parallel inquiry into the case.