The broken almirah and empty locker at Shashi Bhushan Singh’s Telco home on Tuesday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
A Tata Motors employee and his family, performing Chhath rituals by the river at dawn, became unsuspecting victims of a break-in at their Telco home, 7km away, on Tuesday.
A gang of more than three burglars decamped with gold jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh from the E-Road house in the densely populated Telco township, which is also barely 20 metres from the local police station.
According to Shashi Bhushan Singh, he and his family members left home around 4.30am to offer bihaniya arghya at the Hurlung ghat of Subernarekha. They returned home around 7am to find locks to both the front and back doors broken and the gold — kept in the locker of their bedroom almirah — gone.
“After the initial shock, I informed police,” Singh said, adding that Telco officer-in-charge Kalim-ul-zama arrived for inspection around 9.30am.
Neighbours pointed out that the break-in must have taken place sometime between 4.30am, when the family left home, and 5.30am, which is before sunrise.
Police suspect the burglars, who entered Singh’s house by breaking the lock to the front door and exited through the back door in a similar fashion after cleaning out the jewellery in the almirah, were more than three in number.
DSP (city) K.N. Choudhary, who also inspected the spot and pressed a sniffer dog into service, confirmed involvement of a gang. “We are trying to identify and nail the culprits,” he said, adding that the burglars had been keeping tabs on the family’s movement at least since Monday.
“They knew that the family would go to the river for Chhath rituals again this morning as they did last evening. The ghat is 7km away and prayers take time. So, they had ample time in hand.”
The DSP, however, conceded that the canine hunt had not yielded any result.
Singh said that though the gold jewellery was inside a box in the locker, his wife had forgotten to take the keys with her. The bunch was kept in a glass cupboard near the almirah, which perhaps made the job easier for the gang.
“Actually, we always felt very safe because the police station is a stone’s throw from our home. Else, not taking the keys wouldn’t have skipped her mind. We have learnt a lesson,” the Tata Motors employee said.
While DSP Choudhary declined to comment on how the break-in was pulled off right under the nose of police, the OC of Telco could not be contacted for his comments.