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Five more persons held for Pitampura jewellery heist, another 2.5 kilo of gold recovered

Five more persons, one of them a 30-year-old woman, have been arrested in connection with last week’s dacoity at a jewellery showroom in north-west Delhi’s Pitampura
By Karn Pratap Singh, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 20, 2021 11:56 PM IST

Five more persons, one of them a 30-year-old woman, have been arrested in connection with last week’s dacoity at a jewellery showroom in north-west Delhi’s Pitampura. Nearly seven kilograms of gold jewellery worth over 3.5 crore were looted at gunpoint by a group of eight robbers, with the police terming the heist one of the biggest in Delhi in the recent past.

More than one kilogram of stolen jewellery was recovered from the bank locker of the arrested woman -- she is the sister of one of the arrested men -- while another 1.5 kilos of gold was recovered from four persons who were arrested between Monday and Wednesday from West Bengal, Bihar and Delhi.

Earlier, the police had recovered 3.5 kilos of gold jewellery from the suspects.

The total number of arrests in the case is now 12 -- eight men who were involved in the dacoity and four receivers of the stolen jewellery. Nearly six kilos of the stolen jewellery has been recovered so far, the police said.

“One or two suspects are still on the run and their arrests may lead to the recovery of the remaining jewellery. It was one of the biggest dacoity in the recent years in Delhi,” said joint commissioner of police (northern range) Surender Singh Yadav.

According to Yadav, two of the arrested men, identified as Pitu Sheikh and Suraj, had committed a burglary at the same jewellery showroom in 2019. They were arrested and the stolen jewellery recovered from them at that time.

In the latest dacoity, which happened around 4am on January 15, a group of eight robbers arrived outside the jewellery showroom in Pitampura, held the security guard, Chandan Vinay Shukla, hostage at gunpoint and broke into the showroom. They ransacked the shop and fled with nearly seven kilos of gold jewellery.

“The entire heist took just three minutes. The guard informed the police about the dacoity only after the dacoits fled,” said special commissioner of police (law and order, west zone) Sanjay Singh, adding that a case was registered and four teams, including the special staff of north-west and Rohini districts, having around two dozen investigators, were tasked to crack the case and nab the suspects.

As the guard had told the police that the dacoits had come in a Honda City car, investigators scanned through the footage of 30 CCTV cameras along a 5km route that the suspects had taken to reach Rithala Metro station, where the vehicle was found abandoned at a vacant plot.

“We got the car’s registration number from one of the cameras installed near the showroom. We followed the route and recovered the vehicle -- it has been stolen from Rohini Sector 5 on the night of January 11,” said an investigator, requesting anonymity.

During the probe, the officer said investigators learnt about the 2019 burglary at the showroom. They learnt that the three men arrested for that burglary lived in the same neighbourhood from where the Honda City was recovered.

Further probe led to the identification of the suspects living in the neighbourhood. Police collected information about their whereabouts and nabbed them from Haryana, Delhi, West Bengal and Bihar.

Brothers Pitu Sheikh and Mintu Sheikh were caught from Hazaribagh railway station; they were on a Howrah-bound train and were fleeing to their home town in West Bengal with the stolen jewellery. Another robber Reet Mohammad was caught from West Bengal. His interrogation led to the arrest of his brother Sameer Sheikh from Rithala. One Hakim was caught from Patna on Wednesday, the officer said.

The other arrested persons were identified as Shankar, Suraj, Saleem alias Monu, Rahul, Sanu Rehman, Sheikh Ripal.

“Suraj’s interrogation led to the arrest of his sister to whom he had given his share of the stolen jewellery. We interrogated her and she led us to her bank locker in which around 1,100 grams of gold jewellery was kept,” the officer said.

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