On Sunday night, a group of robbers carried out a spectacular heist of over 20 crore on Umrao Singh Jewellers in Jangpura.
A 31-year-old man broke into a jewellery store in Jangpura late on Sunday, robbed it of gold and diamond ornaments worth up to 20 crore, hid inside the shop for 15 hours, and then fled on Monday evening, according to Delhi Police, after the suspect was apprehended in a village in Chhattisgarh.
The police also recovered 18.5kg of gold and diamond jewellery and 12.5 lakh in cash from the suspect, Lokesh Srivas, and showed up to have cracked an audacious burglary on Umrao Singh Jewellers in Bhogal that departed the store owners perplexed and investigators scrounging for clues during the initial leg of the investigation.
Srivas appeared to have committed the burglary, according to police, who added that they are still investigating whether an insider assisted him in planning the heist.
“So far, we haven’t discovered the role of an insider, but an investigation is underway,” he said.
Rajesh Deo, deputy commissioner of police (south-east) in Delhi, stated that Srivas, a resident of Chhattisgarh’s Kabirdham area, was implicated in multiple thefts in his home state.
According to police, the burglar gained access to the store’s terrace from an adjoining building just before midnight on Sunday. He then gained entry by breaking through a windowpane on the terrace and disabling the CCTV cameras and alarm systems. He then went downstairs to the ground floor, which housed the business and its storeroom. He cleaned the single concrete wall in the strongroom by boring a hole in it.
He hid inside the business for most of Monday, when it was closed, then departed in the evening, by the same route he came in.
The first hint came from CCTV footage from nearby cameras, which showed a guy carrying a rucksack entering the building adjacent to the diamond store at 9.45 p.m. on September 24. The staircase in both buildings is the same.
The video also revealed that the individual departed the building on Monday evening.
“At the time, the person was a suspect, but we had no idea who he was,” a senior police official explained.
On Thursday morning, the south-east district police received word from Chhattisgarh Police that they had apprehended a man named Lokesh Rao, who told them that one of his accomplices, Srivas, “had committed a big crime in Delhi.”
“We got hold of a photograph of Srivas and it fitted with the appearance of the suspect in the CCTV footage,” Deo stated.
Using technical monitoring, Delhi Police discovered that Srivas walked to Kashmere Gate bus terminal around 9 p.m. on September 25 to leave the city. “We discovered CCTV footage of him purchasing a bus ticket to Chhattisgarh.” “A team of Delhi Police then flew out on Friday morning and arrived in Chhattisgarh around 11 a.m.,” a police officer added.
The Bilaspur district police, according to Ajay Yadav, inspector general of police (Bilaspur Range), are already looking for Srivas and his friends for their involvement in a series of thefts.
Yadav claimed that investigators had some information about Srivas’s presence in Kawardha town in Kabirdham district.
“On Wednesday, we conducted a raid there and arrested Srivas’s aide, Shiva Chandravanshi, as well as ornaments worth approximately 23 lakh.” “However, by the time the police arrived, Srivas had escaped by jumping from the house’s window,” he explained.
Meanwhile, authorities from both states exchanged information about the Jangpura theft.
Later, in a joint operation, police forces from both states traced Srivas down to a residence in the Durg district’s Smritinagar neighbourhood early Saturday morning.
“We recovered 18.5kg gold and diamond jewellery and ₹12.5 lakh cash from him,” Yadav stated. Deo stated that the discovered gold was expected to be worth up to 20 crore and belonged to a Delhi jewellery store, but that this had yet to be confirmed.
Santosh Singh, the district superintendent of police in Bilaspur, said Srivas would be taken into arrest.
“From there, the Delhi Police will take him on production remand,” he stated.
“The suspect is part of a larger group that committed the Delhi burglary.” “We’ll learn more about the heist after interrogating him in custody,” Singh said.
“The role of an insider can be ascertained only after their interrogation,” Deo stated.
“Further investigation is in progress,” he stated.