Three houses in Nimta, on the northern fringes of the city, were robbed within an hour early on Monday.
Police suspect the same armed gang was behind all three robberies. The members posed as cops to gain entry in two of the three houses.
“Cash and gold ornaments worth more than Rs 2 lakh were robbed from the houses,” said an officer of Nimta police station.
The house of Dhruba Saha, a resident of Ramakrishna Road, was the first to be attacked. Saha, his wife and five-year-old daughter were jolted out of sleep around 2.25am by the shouts of one of the robbers.
“I was shocked to see a man standing in the room, mocking me for keeping the main door unlocked,” said Dhruba Saha, who works in a jewellery shop. Three more men, all armed, followed the first man, snatched keys to the safe from Dhruba’s wife and emptied it.
They fled with Rs 5,000 and gold ornaments weighing around 60 gram after locking the family in the house.
“The gang had broken the lock on the grille gate of the single-storey house before forcing open the bolt of the main door,” said an officer.
Next to be targeted was the house of Dibyendu Raha, a few yards from the Sahas’.
“I was woken up hearing loud knocks on the door. When I asked who it was, a voice said a police team had come to raid the house in connection with a narcotics case,” recalled Dibyendu, a conductor of a private bus.
The moment Dibyendu opened the door, one of the men held a revolver to his stomach.
The robbers forced their way in, grabbed the keys to the locker and took away gold ornaments weighing 40 gram and Rs 4,000.
The third house robbed belongs to Jayanta Roy and is barely 200 metres from Dibyendu’s home.
The robbers entered posing as cops and forced Roy, who supplies vinyl prints for advertisements, to part with cash and jewellery worth Rs 80,000, the police said.
Three robberies in a locality within a span of an hour have left the residents rattled. “About a fortnight ago, a house in the locality had been robbed,” said Tarapada Roy, a resident.
The police are clueless about the identities of the robbers. “It seems a new gang was behind all three robberies. What’s surprising is that none of the families is rich,” said an officer.
Bishwajit Ghosh, additional deputy commissioner of police, Barrackpore, said: “We are deploying more cops in plainclothes in some pockets we have identified as vulnerable.”