Residents of the plush Dosti Acres housing complex at Wadala woke up from their afternoon siesta on Tuesday to news that four flats in two adjacent buildings in the complex had been broken into and cash and gold jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh looted.
Residents also reported an unsuccessful attempt to break into a fifth apartment. The police were calculating the worth of the valuables and cash robbed until late in the night.
The Antop Hill police said the incidents occurred between 2 pm and 5 pm when most residents of Lily and Iris apartments hade finished lunch and were resting.
The accused entered all the four houses by breaking open the locks. A police officer, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said: “We suspect the accused had been keeping a watch over the apartments because they struck when no one was at home.”
None of the neighbours heard noises that could arouse suspicion. “There was construction going on in one of the apartments,” a resident of Lily building told Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity because he did not wish to be identified. “Even if the accused made a noise while breaking the locks, residents must have assumed the noise was because of the construction.”
The resident said one of the flats was occupied until 2 pm. “We discovered the burglary when the resident, a college student, returned home at 5 pm and found that the house had been broken into,” he said. The girl knocked on her neighbour’s door. The neighbours informed her parents and called the police. “Soon, there was panic as we realised several other flats in the locality had been burgled,” the resident said.
Deputy commissioner of police (zone IV), Sanjay Baviskar, said, “As of now, gold and cash worth Rs. 5 lakh have been reported missing. Investigations are on.”
The watchman claimed he did not see anyone suspicious enter the building.
The Mumbai police had advised housing complexes to install close circuit television (CCTV) cameras on their premises as a security measure. This complex had even done that but it is not going to help. “There are CCTV cameras in the building,” the resident said. “But they have not been in working condition for a long time.”