Residents take back jewellery stolen from them, at Bidhannagar East police station. (Tamaghna Banerjee)
Salt Lake police on Thursday returned cash and ornaments worth around Rs 40 lakh stolen from residents over the past few months.
The items returned to 11 residents included gold and silver jewellery, gold coins, cash bundles, wristwatches and silver and brass utensils.
The cops said most of the items had been recovered from Souvik Laha, 33, the son of a goldsmith from Shyambazar, who had been nabbed by residents on September 17 and handed over to police while he was trying to flee after stealing a gold chain.
Investigation revealed that Laha had masterminded 10 of the 14 incidents of snatching in the township in recent months. The booty was subsequently recovered from him.
The rest of the booty was recovered earlier. A portion is stuck in court proceedings or is pending identification by their owners, police said.
Most of the residents could not believe their luck at getting back the valuables for which they had given up all hope.
“I never thought I would get back my gold chain,” said Bhaswati Nayek, a resident of GD block, who had been robbed while she was walking home from a local market on August 27 by two bike-borne youths.
“I was hesitant to even lodge a police complaint but the cops were very co-operative,” she added.
Others shared similar feelings while getting back their valuables.
One such happy person was Vishnu Kedia from FD block. On October 3, gold and diamond jewellery worth nearly Rs 35 lakh had been stolen from the trader’s home.
The Kedia family got back jewellery worth nearly Rs 13 lakh on Thursday. The rest, said a cop, was “in the process of being recovered”.
“Like many others, I never thought the police could recover stolen valuables. Now, I do believe that is possible. I’ve got back some of the stolen items and the cops have assured me I would get back the rest once they catch the primary accused, our domestic help,” Kedia said.
“We do return valuables to owners at police stations every now and then,” said Niloo Sherpa, the deputy commissioner (detective department) of Bidhannagar police, who headed the programme at Bidhannagar East police station.
“This time, since a number of cases were solved and a number of items recovered at a time, we decided to hold a big function and invite all victims and municipality officials and engage in a healthy interaction,” the officer added.