A picture of Suvabrata Sanyal taken from one of his Facebook accounts
Suvabrata Sanyal went back to the scene of his alleged crime but, in keeping with the age, he did so through Facebook. And got caught.
The Behala youth had allegedly served “spiked payesh” to the elderly Mumbai couple in whose home he worked as a cook and fled with cash and jewellery worth Rs 25 lakh.
Two months later, by which time the Rauts of Navi Mumbai had given up hope of the police catching Suvabrata, he sent three members of the family friend requests on Facebook.
“Suvabrata had robbed the couple in April and fled Maharashtra. Around end-June, he thought nobody could touch him and so he contacted his former employers to taunt them,” said inspector A.P. More of Mumbai police, who raided the 33-year-old man’s home with Calcutta police last week and arrested him.
The police had started tracking Suvabrata’s mobile phone — his link to Facebook, where he has at least three accounts whose timelines are peppered with selfies — after he sent friend requests to 65-year-old Amita Raut, her US-based son and Pune-based daughter.
The mobile phone and Facebook trail led the cops to an apartment building near Behala Chowrasta, where Suvabrata lives in a rented, one-bedroom flat with his mother, elder sister and younger brother.
His mother can’t believe that her son has been accused of robbery, much less taunting the victims with Facebook friend requests after the act.
She told Metro that Suvabrata had worked as a cook for the Rauts two-and-a-half years ago. He left the job after a few months because of alleged “mistreatment” by his employers, the woman said.
Suvabrata’s mother said that Amita’s husband Deepak, a retired marine engineer, had got in touch with Suvabrata a few months ago, promising to find him a job on a ship if he worked for the family again for a short time.
The youth, who has worked in restaurants across the country, accepted the offer but returned home within weeks.
Mumbai police said Suvabrata landed the job through a placement agency and the Rauts took him in without a background check.
The Mumbai family agreed to pay Suvabrata Rs 12,000 a month because he was a trained cook. “He joined work on April 23 and was very professional and clean. He is an excellent cook and we were very happy. On April 30, he made us some kheer, Bengali style. We loved it but soon became unconscious. When we came to, our cash and jewellery were gone,” Deepak said.
The Rauts lodged an FIR but the probe reached a dead-end. The Mumbai cops swung back into action after Suvabrata contacted the Rauts on Facebook.
“He was moving around. We found out that he was in Bhubaneswar, but by the time we got there he had left,” inspector More said.
Suvabrata’s mother didn’t find it unusual that her son had returned home because “he has never held a job for more than a few months”. The arrested youth told his mother that he had left the Raut household because the family “mistreated” him again.
On July 30, just as Suvabrata sat for lunch, the doorbell rang. He answered it to find three police officers at the door. No money or jewellery was found in the house.
Suvabrata was produced in Alipore court and taken to Mumbai on transit remand. His family members said they were trying to gather funds to travel to Mumbai and hire a lawyer for him.
flip side of SOCIAL networking
Facebook faux pas by men
on the run are becoming increasingly common. Here
are three recent instances
● An iPhone thief accidentally posted a picture of himself on his victim’s Facebook page shortly after the crime in Washington, US, last week. He took the picture on the phone without realising it would be automatically uploaded on FB. The victim’s friends tagged the man as a thief and shared the picture on their page. The posts have gone viral, involving hundreds in a game of catch-the-crook. FB members have posted several sightings of
the thief since.
● Brandon J. Anderson, 28, of Kingsport, US, was arrested on August 1 after he posted pictures on Facebook of the goods he had allegedly stolen from Walmart to sell them online.
● In March, an iPhone thief in New York posted a picture of himself smoking pot on the victim’s Facebook page. He is yet to be caught, though.