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Family cook held for theft

A man employed as cook at a trader’s house in Baguiati for three years allegedly prepared duplicate keys to the main door and the safe and stole cash and jewellery.

Shyamdeb Rai, 32, was arrested on Saturday from Kestopur. Police said around Rs 2.43 lakh and a part of the gold jewellery he had stolen have been recovered. “Rai got the money by selling the stolen ornaments,” said an officer.

Nilesh Murarka, a resident of Rabindrapally in Baguiati, complained to police that gold jewellery and cash were missing when he and his family returned home on April 11 from a religious function.

Murarka, a trader in Burrabazar, and his family had left home in the morning and returned in the evening.

The trader told the police that the main door of the flat and the safe where the money and the ornaments were kept were locked when the family returned home.

“Initially, we were perplexed, but things began to become clear after we arrested the cook, Shyamdeb Rai,” said Arka Banerjee, the assistant commissioner of police, Bidhannagar City Police.

The sleuths got a hang of the theft while interrogating Rai, who is from Madhubani in Bihar and was introduced to the Murarkas through a relative of the trader.

“The cook admitted that he had stolen the items and said he had sold a portion to a jewellery shop at Chotomollakhali in South 24-Parganas,” said an officer.

“We immediately sent our men to the jewellery shop and seized some of the stolen ornaments, including ear and finger rings, a locket and bangles.” Jagannath Mistry, 36, the owner of the shop, has been arrested.

Police officers said they are interrogating Rai to trace the remaining portion of the ornaments.

Rai, who was hired three years ago, would turn up at the Murarkas’ house at 9am and would stay there till 6pm. “The long hours he spent had earned him the family’s trust. We suspect that while working Rai had taken measurements and prepared duplicate keys,” the officer said.