Nagpur: Nagpur (rural) police have finally brought the mystery surrounding the Kanhan jewellery shop armed robbery to an end. The cops have arreste 5 people who have been at large in the case involving robbery worth Rs 21.42 lakh. Sources informed that a shepherd helped police in establishing the route the robbers took before committing the robbery. He had also seen them cover themselves from head to toe and mask their bikes’ registration number plates.
The police didn’t have any physical evidence apart from the footage captured in closed circuit camera television (CCTV) installed at Amit Jewellers at Ganesh Nagar in Kanhan’s market area where the robbery took place on May 14.
Around 20 days ago, the mastermind Yogesh Yadav (25), had gone to the jewellery shop to buy gold ornaments for his sister’s wedding. He told the owner Amit Gupta that he would pay the bill later, but the owner refused his demand. On May 4, Yadav’s sister got married.
“After that, Yadav, having seven serious offences including extortion against him, contacted his accomplices and planned the robbery for which he also bought two pistols from Madhya Pradesh for Rs25,000,” superintendent of police Shailesh Balkawde told journalists on Monday. Yadav chose Sunday for the robbery as he knew it would be the busiest time at the jewellery store, the biggest in Kanhan. After committing the robbery, the robbers fled the scene on their bikes but abandoned them somewhere. The vehicles are yet to be recovered. The robbers then went to Uttar Pradesh by rail, said Balkawde. Later, they came back to Nagpur and went to Gondia to lie low.
Apart from concealing their faces, the robbers had also tied turbans in a bid to throw the police off their trail. After robbing the valuables and Rs4 lakh cash, the robbers shot at shop owner Amit Gupta. Police have recovered stolen valuables and Rs24,000 cash, together worth around Rs11lakh, from the robbers.
Eight squads were formed to work on the case. Some teams compiled data of externed goons, jail inmates who had gone on furlough and parole, and goons who were out on bail, and tried to match the modus operandi with earlier robberies. Meanwhile, the shepherd informed police that he had seen four bike-borne men, matching the description of the robbers, on Ramtek Road near a graveyard. “We also came to know that Yadav, an engineering dropout, was externed to Ramtek, was out on bail and staying in a rented room along with his accomplice Aryan Rathod, alias Nitesh (24). The duo, residents of Kanhan, disappeared from the room after the robbery,” API Purshottam Aherkar told TOI. It was Yadav and Rathod who had shot at Gupta, added the API.
In the first three days of investigation, police established the robbers’ identity and focused on tracing Yadav. The cyber cell found Yadav’s mobile phone location in Gondia. A joint team of Kanhan police and local crime branch laid a trap at Ram Nagar in Gondia and netted Yadav, Rathod, and another accused Jitendra Dhote, alias Bhuru (38), who sheltered the duo at his rented place. The police recovered one pistol, four live cartridges, and robbed valuables from the place on late Sunday night,” said API Ulhaas Bhusari who, along with Aherkar, laid the trap under the guidance of LCB PI Sanjay Purandare. Sameer Lute (23) and Praful Jangade, alias Piyush (25), both residents of Ramtek, were caught from the city in the wee hours of Monday.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and district guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule have applauded the team for their success. Inspector of General Pratapsingh Patankar has announced reward for the investigation team.