The ransacked room at the Ballygunge Place apartment. Picture by Bishwarup Dutta
Burglars entered a ground-floor apartment at Ballygunge Place by unscrewing a faulty window grille and took away valuables worth nearly Rs 1.7 lakh.
The theft was detected around 10am on Tuesday after the tenant of the apartment returned from Bihar.
“The thieves entered my two-bedroom apartment from the rear. They removed a grille after taking off all 12 screws from a window frame,” said Kiran Das, who had gone to meet her husband Kameshwar, an engineer in Purnia, Bihar. “One of the windows does not close completely. The thieves used the narrow gap to open the window and remove the screws.”
Kiran found the almirah ransacked and gold ornaments — four ear-rings, two rings and a gold chain — and some silver coins missing.
“Only one room in the apartment was ransacked. All the stolen articles were in the almirah which I had left unlocked,” said Kiran, who works in a public sector unit.
Another almirah in an adjacent room was untouched. “The second almirah was locked and the burglars probably did not try to break it open because it could have created noise and alerted neighbours,” said a police officer. The landlord, who lives on the first floor, said he had heard no sound on Monday night.
Kiran stays in the apartment with her mother-in-law and two children and goes to Purnia every week to meet her husband. “It appears that the thieves were aware that no one was in the apartment.”
Police, too, did not rule out involvement of an insider. “The family’s help was hired two months ago and she knew that her employer would not be in town. There is another youth who does household chores such as grocery shopping and buying milk. We are examining them,” said an officer of Ballygunge police station.
The apartment is located barely 200 metres from the restaurant, 6 Ballygunge Place.
The cops suspect the burglars could be from the nearby Bondel Road area. “Last month a snatcher had robbed a woman of her gold chain when she was walking along a road in Ballygunge Place. During investigation, we found the snatcher was from the Bondel Road area, infamous for harbouring criminals,” said the officer.
Burglars broke into a house at Bishalakshmitala in Baruipur on Monday night and fled with cash and jewellery.
Police said the owner of the house, Manika Sinha Roy, had gone to a relative’s house and came back on Tuesday.