Sagar Podder with his sister and mother shows one of the ransacked rooms of his home. (Mayukh Sengupta)
A burglar was caught while his accomplice bolted with the booty after they broke into a Dum Dum house close to the airport on Tuesday afternoon.
Sagar Podder, the 28-year-old owner of the house, arrived in the nick of time to raise the alarm.
Police sources said the burglars pounced on Podder when he entered the house through the broken rear door while the duo were packing the loot in a bag. They kicked and punched him but Podder managed to shout for help. Some men repairing a road close to the house chased and caught one of the burglars.
The police complaint says the thieves took away 20 bhoris of gold jewellery, which is over Rs 6 lakh at current market price, and cash (Rs.1.5 lakh, $800 and £500) kept in a cupboard.
Police sources said Podder’s New Jersey-based sister had given him the dollar and pound bills during her visit to the Italgachha home a month ago.
Podder, an accountant with a hotel near Arhai Number Gate of the airport, had found the gate of his home locked from inside when he returned from work around 4pm on Tuesday. Mother Saraswati and sister Urmi had gone to a relative’s house in the afternoon.
He was surprised to see the main gate of their two-storey building locked from inside since no one was at home.
When he called his sister to ask why she had locked the gate from inside before leaving, Urmi was taken aback too because she had locked it from outside.
“Mother and I had gone to a relative’s at Durganagar to attend a religious function,” said Urmi, who graduated this year. Elder brother Suman lives in New Delhi while sister Sumi stays with her husband in the US.
Sensing foul play, Podder walked to the backend of the house and found the door broken. “I immediately went inside and rushed upstairs where I found the almirah ransacked. Then I saw two men putting jewellery and other valuables inside a bag,” he said.
He jostled with the duo as one of them attacked him with an iron rod while the other tried to gag him.
“Amid the kicks and punches, they were discussing if they should kill me or scoot with the loot. Just then I managed to kick one and free myself. The kick unnerved them and they fled through the front gate,” he said.
Podder was in pain from the assault but he managed to raise the alarm, alerting some road workers in the vicinity. They caught Gopal Das, 24, but the other fellow fled with the bag. Das was later handed over to the police.
“We are interrogating him for clues to nab his accomplice,” said C. Sudhakar, deputy commissioner of Barrackpore police.