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3 break-ins at Telco market

Kharangajhar market in Telco witnessed three back-to-back burglaries in the small hours on Friday, but the police, which pressed sniffer dogs to detect the culprits, could not make any headway.

Amid heavy rain, the gang succeeded in decamping with gold and silver worth over Rs 1 lakh from a jewellery store, failed to break the collapsible gate of another nearby jeweller’s and cleaned out high-value cosmetics at a grocery shop. Police have narrowed down the occurrence between 1am and 3am as the sound of the downpour obscured the noise of the break-ins.

The two jewellery shops were identified as Vinod Jewellers and AK Jewellers, owned by Vinod Kumar Soni and Ashwini Kumar. The grocery shop belongs to one Om Prakash Gupta. Soni, Kumar and Gupta lodged separate FIRs with Telco police.

Soni, who suffered a loss worth over Rs 1 lakh “according to a rough estimate”, said the burglars instead of breaking the locks, had uprooted the frame of the shutters.

“I pulled down the shutters of my shop and locked it properly around 9.30pm on Thursday night. When I came to open it at 9am today (Friday), I found the shutter frame uprooted and the lock intact. When I entered my shop, I saw many shelves were empty and the floor littered with empty jewellery boxes,” Soni said.

“The extent of my loss may be greater,” he added. “I am still assessing what’s gone.”

Ashwini Kumar of AK Jewellers said the gang had pulled up the shutter frame of his shop but could not break the collapsible gate. “That’s why they fled without taking anything,” he said.

Grocer Gupta said the gang took high-value cosmetics, leaving behind foodgrain. “They took lightweight items that are worth more,” he said.

Pankaj Soni, Vinod’s younger brother, said the nature of the burglary pointed to a trained gang with at least four-five persons. “Uprooting the frame of the shutters takes effort and know-how,” he said. “There is no night watchman at Kharangajhar market.”

Telco OC Kamleshwar Pandey said the burglars left no clue. “We pressed sniffer dogs from Tata Motors Ltd and Golmuri police lines but could not get any lead. Maybe the rains wiped out clues,” he said. “No one heard anything due to rain. We will beef up police patrol at night,” he added.