An elderly couple watching television after lunch on the ground floor of their two-storey Behala residence in southwest Kolkata was robbed by a man who scaled the building and entered the house through an open balcony door, police said.
Over 25 CCTV cameras on the congested roads and lanes of Behala were scanned and the man was identified and arrested on Wednesday.
The police identified him as Subrata Mandal. He was allegedly helped by another man, Nuruddin, who was also arrested. “Mandal is the one who scaled the building and robbed the house while Nuruddin was the receiver of the stolen articles,” said an officer in Lalbazar.
Investigators said the elderly couple’s daughter lives abroad. Their attendant was downstairs when the robbery allegedly took place at their house on Roy Bahadur Road on April 30.
“The family had thought it safe to keep the cupboards on the first floor unlocked. The man had found the keys hanging on the cupboard and scooted with jewellery and some money,” said an officer.
Later, when the attendant came upstairs, she found the cupboards open and ransacked.
There are many elderly residents in Kolkata who stay alone and are vulnerable to crime against life and property, mostly because their children are settled in other states or countries.
Officers of the anti-burglary squad spotted the suspect in CCTV footage. He was seen entering a narrow bylane at the rear-end of the building.
Around 15 minutes later, he was seen walking out of the bylane, with the pockets of his trousers stuffed, an officer said.
“It was not clear what was in his pocket but there was something that he was not carrying when he had entered the bylane 15 minutes earlier. He took an autorickshaw and headed towards Taratala,” said the officer.
The suspect changed two autorickshaws and took a detour to reach his destination, apparently to dodge the police.
Cops zeroed in on Mandal and then Nuruddin. The stolen items were recovered from Nuruddin, the police said.