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Mumbai jewellery heist: Cops arrest staffer and accomplice

The accused have been identified as Rajaram Purohit, 21, the main accused and Pukhraj Bhil, 21, his accomplice. They were arrested from Vasai

mumbai Updated: May 04, 2019 23:48 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
All the stolen valuables including the owner’s gun and six live cartridges have been recovered from the accused.(HT Photo)

Crime branch officers have arrested an employee of a jewellery shop in Mahim and his accomplice who allegedly attacked the shop’s 78-year-old owner, tied him up, gagged him and fled with cash and valuables worth ₹1.90 crore on Thursday.

The accused have been identified as Rajaram Purohit, 21, the main accused and Pukhraj Bhil, 21, his accomplice.They were arrested from Vasai. Police said Purohit had been working for the jeweller for the past eight months under the fake name of Naresh Kumar.

“All the stolen valuables including the [jeweller’s] gun and six live cartridges have been recovered from the accused,” said Datta Nalavade, deputy commissioner of police (preventive).

On Thursday, Bhansimal Jain, the owner of Abhishek Jewellers at Mori Road, partially closed the shutter of the shop around 2.30pm to have lunch. Three employees worked in the shop, but two of them were on leave. Jain’s son, Abhishek, was also out of town on vacation.

Investigations revealed that during the lunch break, Purohit stepped out of the shop on the pretext of buying curd. He then signalled to Bhil, who was waiting outside, to join him. The duo entered the shop and attacked Jain.

After tying Jain to a chair and gagging him, Purohit and Bhil put the jewellery and other valuables in a bag and fled.

Meanwhile, Jain fell unconscious. Once he regained consciousness around 3pm, he managed to crawl out of the shop, after which passers-by untied him and informed the police. Jain was rushed to a hospital, as he suffers from a heart condition.

When police checked the CCTV footage from the shop, they found that the accused had removed the recording.

On Saturday, the crime branch got a tip-off that the duo was in Vasai. A police team picked them up from a hotel where they were hiding. “We gathered information about the accused from their relatives and friends after which they were caught,” said Nalavade.

While the initial first information report (FIR) based on a preliminary probe pegged the stolen valuables and cash worth ₹84.63 lakh, a detailed analysis revealed that more valuables were stolen.

Police said the duo had stolen 6.50kg gold, 9.50kg silver, cash of ₹7.86 lakh and Jain’s German-made revolver, collectively worth ₹1.90 crore.

“The main accused had not given much details about him to his employer,” Nalavade said.

First Published: May 04, 2019 23:47 IST