The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jewel thief held with booty

Siliguri, Oct. 17: A little over a week after he had decamped with jewellery and watches worth over Rs 35 lakh from a Tanishq showroom on Sevoke Road here, police arrested Arup Kumar Ram, alias Sunil Mahato, from Lake Town in Calcutta on Sunday.

Almost all the expensive stolen items, besides some cash, a laptop and a stolen gun, have been recovered from him.

Ram, who has many aliases, had been working as the guard in the showroom for over a year and was on duty on the night of October 8 when he pulled off the sensational robbery.

'Our team (from the Bhaktinagar police station) arrested Ram from Lake Town on October 16 where he had gone in search of a job,' said K.L. Meena, inspector-general (IG) of police, north Bengal.

While jewellery worth Rs 15 lakh was recovered from his possession in Calcutta itself, another set of valuables, including bracelets, necklaces, bangles and watches, were traced to his Rishi Aurobindanagar house in Durgapur. 'About Rs 16,800 in cash and a gun, which was not mentioned in the FIR, was also recovered from him,' said the IG.

The police said the robbery appeared to have been a one-man job, though a few more persons are under detention and are being interrogated. 'His (Ram's) is the most transparent case, while the others are being questioned (for their possible role in the crime),' said Meena.

The police were helped in breaking the case by the TV footage captured in the closed-circuit cameras that were in place inside the showroom. 'On the basis of the closed-circuit TV (footage), we knew that the guard was involved in the robbery. Our team went to different places, including Midnapore, and traced him to Lake Town,' said Meena.

Ram was employed by North Bengal Security Agency and was deployed at the showroom. The police said he had previously worked in various places under different aliases. 'He was working in a mill at Burdwan as Shibu Nayak and as Ajit Mandal in another security agency at Behala in Calcutta,' said Sitaram Sinha, circle inspector of Bhaktinagar police station.

The north Bengal IG has decided to award cash incentive to the team of Bhaktinagar police for solving the case in double quick time. 'The team worked day and night to solve the case in seven-eight days' time. Moreover, almost 99 per cent of the stolen items were recovered,' said Meena.

The robbery committed on the night of October 8 at the Tanishq showroom near Payal Cinema had created a sensation in the town, besides dealing a heavy blow to the showroom coming as it did during the peak Puja season. 'I am very happy as the police have done an excellent job,' said a visibly relieved manager of the showroom Vishal Arya.

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