Burglars broke into a century-old house in Bally, Howrah, and took away gold ornaments and valuables worth over Rs 10 lakh early on Sunday.
The house has been vacant since January 7 as owner Rathindranath Goswami, 76, and wife Deva, 56, were in Calcutta.
Goswami, a retired officer of Bharat Blades, a razor and blades manufacturing company, is admitted to a nursing home at Park Circus for a neurological disorder.
Deva and the family help, 30-year-old Basanti, were at daughter Roma Bhattacharyaís home in Kasba.
Roma would visit the Bally house every now and then.
When Roma reached the house at 12.30pm on Sunday, she found the lock of the collapsible gate at the entrance broken. As she rushed indoors, she discovered all the almirahs in the house open and ransacked.
ďThe way the house and the almirahs were ransacked, the burglars probably went through everything over several hours,Ē she said.
The burglars had gone through each room, almirah and cabinet in two-storey house at 35 Sarkhel Para Road, which suggested a nightlong raid.
They stole 300 grams of gold ornaments worth Rs 9 lakh, silverware amounting to about Rs 1 lakh, a camera and several showpieces.
The house stands on five-and-a-half cottahs, surrounded by a 7ft-high wall with barbed wires.
The family alleged that an insider might have informed the burglars about the absence of the owners and the hidden key to the collapsible gate.
ďThe burglars had taken the key hidden beneath a window sill on the ground floor and unlocked the gate close to the staircase landing,Ē said Roma.
Police inspected the house in the afternoon and said a gang of four-five persons probably carried out the burglary.
ďThis could not be the work of an individual. We have registered a complaint and are looking for evidence to nab the guilty,Ē said an officer of Bally police station.