Thane police on Tuesday claimed to have cracked a major heist case, in which almost 30 kg of gold was stolen from the office of a private gold loan company in Ulhasnagar. Three persons were arrested in connection with the crime.
A part of the loot was also recovered from the accused, Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh told reporters during a press briefing today.
Around 3 kg of gold jewellery was recovered from the three men, and 15 more persons were involved in the dacoity, he said.
To trace the remaining accused, police have formed separate teams which are conducting search operations across the country.
Gold jewellery weighing around 28.686 kg, valued at nearly Rs 7.22 crore, was stolen from Manappuram Finance’s gold loan branch in Ulhasnagar on December 26, 2016.
The thieves had entered the office through a hole and used gas cutters to open the lockers where gold ornaments were kept. They also tampered with the office’s CCTV surveillance system.
The staff reported the theft to Vithalwadi Police Station, following which the crime branch of Thane Police had also started a parallel investigation in the case.
Later, on January 4, police arrested two of the accused, identified as Kamruddin Asuddin Shaikh (28) and Manoj Nurbahadur Saud (35).
On January 9, police got a tip-off, on the basis of which they laid a trap and managed to nab the mastermind, Mustafa alias Akhtar Samsher Shaikh (44), at Turbhe in Navi Mumbai.
Shaikh hails from Sahibganj district in Jharkhand and is an expert in carrying out such crimes. The gang had earlier indulged in such heists in Thane, Mumbai and other states as well, police said.
The gang’s modus operandi involving planting a security guard at the target place and with his help, gather information and commit the offence. The same was followed in this case as well.
The gang members drilled the walls of the company office for five to six days without anyone noticing and they finally committed the robbery when the office was closed over the weekend.
Cops are now trying to nab the remaining accused and ascertain if the stolen jewellery has been sold.