| The safe of the jewellery shop in Patna on Friday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Robbers broke into a jewellery shop, barely 100m from a “May I Help You”
police booth near Boring Road roundabout, early on Friday and fled with ornaments worth lakhs.
Unidentified men broke the locks and shutter of Nazrana Jewellers in Shakti Complex to carry out the operation. The robbery a week after the daring loot at a jewellery store in Kankerbagh has raised a question mark on the claims of round-the-clock police presence at all major roundabouts, including the one at Boring Road.
“The time of the incident could not be ascertained but it must have taken place in the small hours. The Kankerbagh jewellery store heist a week back and this incident point towards the involvement of a gang specialising in breaking into shops. It might have arrived from outside or its members could have been released from jail recently. Once inside, the robbers broke open a small safe and decamped with all ornaments stored in it,” said a police officer.
On July 11, robbers broke into Bikram Jewellers in Panch Mandir area in Kankerbagh and decamped with ornaments worth almost Rs 50 lakh. The police are yet to make any breakthrough in the case.
The cops admitted that the personnel manning the police picket had no clue of the robbery.
“The exact evaluation of the looted items is yet to be submitted. There is a ‘May I Help You’ booth close to the shop and some cops man it. However, it seems that they didn’t spot the theft. It could be considered as a serious lapse, as the Boring Road roundabout has round-the-clock police presence. We are conducting investigations,” said another police officer.
Owners of other shops in the complex discovered the theft and alerted the owner of Nazrana Jewellers.
“There are a few shops in the complex which open early. They spotted the locks and the shutter of my shop broken and called me up. I cannot comment on the exact value of jewellery looted but it can be in lakhs. I hope that the police are able to catch the accused and recover the booty,” said Saket Gautam, the owner of Nazrana Jewellers.
Residents said such robberies were shocking.
“The incident occurred barely a few metres from a police picket. This shows how inactive the cops are. The criminals took advantage of that. Only a few days ago, a medicine trader was murdered in Patna metres away from his home. Incidents like these are shocking. They put a question mark on the efficiency of the police. The men-in-uniform must act tough and stand by their claims of staying alert and their presence during night hours,” said R.K. Jain, a city-based businessman.