Taloja police held a 40-year-old home maker on Thursday on charges of stealing valuables worth Rs. 3.90 lakh from her neighbour’s house and setting his bedroom on fire to hide the burglary.
On January 9, Bhalchandra Ramchandra Kadam, a resident of Devicha Pada at Taloja, had gone out with his wife and children when at 8 p.m., his neighbour called him and informed him that a fire had broken out in his apartment. Senior police inspector Ajay Landge said, “Mr. Kadam and his family soon returned and doused the fire. They later realised that the cupboard in the bedroom was open and valuables worth Rs. 3.90 lakh, including gold and Rs. 8,000 in cash was missing, following which we registered a case of theft and house tresspass against unidentified men and started investigations.”
The police contacted finance companies to check if any of the stolen jewellery was brought to them for mortgaging. On July 30, the police received information on a necklace, among the stolen jewellery, being mortgaged with Shreeram City Finance in New Panvel.
Police sub inspector Birappa Lature said, “The complainant identified the necklace with the finance company. Officials of the firm said a jeweller from Bajrang Jewellers at Devicha Pada had mortgaged the necklace with them.”
Santosh Jadhav (40), the owner of the jewellery shop, revealed the identity of the woman who had given him the necklace to mortgage. Mr. Landge said, “The woman was the neighbour of the complainant. On further investigations, she revealed that she had stolen the ornaments in January and then set clothes in the bedroom on fire so the complainant would believe that the valuables were destroyed in the fire and would never find out about the theft.”
Mr. Langde said they arrested the woman and Mr. Jadhav as he did not verify any papers before accepting the jewellery from her.
The police recovered gold ornaments worth Rs. 3.22 lakh from the woman. Mr. Kadam had given his house keys to the neighbour and she got a duplicate made, said police.
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