13 shops in Bhuleshwar market robbed
Thieves looted 13 shops selling steel utensils in Bhuleshwar on Tuesday night and looted more than Rs 5 lakh in cash.
The thieves broke the locks of the shutters of the shops located in Gaushala Compound and fled with the cash, police said.
Dhiren Chheda, owner of Rupal Steel, said shopkeepers noticed the locks of their shops were broken when they came to open them on Wednesday morning.
"There are more than 30 shops of steel vessels in the area. There is just one gate to enter the market and that remains closed at night. Two watchmen make rounds of the market all night," Chheda said.
The thieves could not open the locker in Chheda's store so they escaped with the metal safe, which had Rs 2 lakh. "It is strange that in spite of the presence of the watchmen, the thieves could enter the market and break 13 locks," said Sarad Peti, whose shop was also robbed.
"We are investigating the case and will arrest the culprits soon," said R.K. Padmanabhan, additional commissioner of police (south region).
The shopkeepers said the association that manages the shops had installed three close circuit television cameras in the market but none were working on Tuesday night. "Now we will employ our own security outside every shop," Chheda said. "This is not the first time robbers have targeted the locality. Two months ago, eight shops in the vicinity were looted."
The V.P. Road police have registered a case of theft. "Initial investigations have revealed that it is the act of an insider. The robbers knew how to get inside the market past the locked gate and the watchmen," said a police officer requesting anonymity. The police will record the statements of shopkeepers and the watchmen.