With less than a fortnight to go for the Pujas, Burrabazar was rocked by twin shop robberies in a little over 12 hours that resulted in the loss of valuables worth more than Rs 12 lakh.
Late on Saturday, a jewellery shop was deprived of five gold bangles valued at around Rs 2.5 lakh. Around noon on Sunday, a packing-and-forwarding company outlet was cleaned out by a gang of armed robbers.
Rajiv Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (central division), said on Saturday three women posing as customers checked out several pieces of gold jewellery before leaving without making a single purchase. “Only after they left did the owner realise that at least five gold bangles were missing. The closed-circuit television camera revealed how while two of the women were scanning the bangles, the third was busy putting them into her handbag,” said Kumar. Police have asked for the videotape to identify the shoplifters.
Sunday’s swoop was no stealth attack. Armed dacoits stormed the packers’ outlet and grabbed over Rs 10 lakh in cash. “They tied up the owner and workers at gunpoint, gagged them, ransacked the place and then left,” said Kumar.
Lalbazar top cops had said about a month ago that security would be beefed up in key areas in the run-up to the Pujas as this is when snatch-and-rob gangs from Orissa, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu invade the city.