Diamond jewellery worth Rs.10 mn stolen from Ghaziabad mall (Second Lead)

March 12th, 2009 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, March 12 (IANS) In a perfect heist, burglars walked into a Shoppers Stop department store at the glitzy Shipra Mall here and escaped with diamond jewellery worth nearly Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million). The police suspect an insider job as the robbers knew the layout and avoided the security cameras.
According to the police, the burglars sneaked into the store when it had closed, probably Tuesday night, took out the keys from the place where they were kept, opened the glass cases of the jewellery counters and took away the jewellery. They fled from the back door of the store where no cameras were installed.

The burglary was discovered by Shoppers Stop employees Wednesday when the store was opened around 3 p.m. after Holi.

Superintendent of Police (City) Anant Dev said Thursday: “The burglars opened two cases of the counter where only Gili diamond jewellery was kept. Employees found the window cases of these open. It had a large quantity of jewllery. The burglars also opened two locks of the rear door of the store from which they are believed to have fled.”

The police, however, had no clue from where did the burglars enter the store. “This is being investigated,” Dev said.

Though the Shoppers Stop senior management complained about a theft of about Rs.85 lakh (Rs.8.5 million) jewellery to the Indirapuram police station Wednesday, they valued the stolen items at over Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million) Thursday.

According to Dev, Shoppers Stop employees told the police that their management at Mumbai was preparing the inventory of the stolen items and the final value of the missing items could be higher.

“The police have asked us to prepare an inventory of the missing items. We are in the process of doing it and have informed our senior management at Mumbai about the robbery. We fear that precious jewellery of around Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million) is gone but the value could be even higher. We are counting the items,” Nagendra Singh, area controller of Shoppers Stop, said.

“We are sending a list of missing items to our head office in Mumbai which would then send us back the exact valuation of the burgled goods,” an employee of the retail store told IANS.

However, Senior Superintendent of Police Akhil Kumar Thursday estimated the value of the stolen jewellery at around Rs.85 lakh (Rs.8.5 million).

Police sources said the burglary could have been the handiwork of some of the store’s employees who knew the internal layout well.

The popular store, spread over two floors in the mall and with branches across the country, was sealed Thursday and all its operations were halted.

Significantly, the majority of the security personnel deployed inside the Shipra Mall are of the mall management. Individual stores have less private security.

“Most of the CCTVs installed in and around the mall are by us. Despite having such a big store, Shoppers Stop did not install any CCTV for its own security. There should have been proper security measures,” a senior member of the Shipra Mall management said.

In the past too, an employee of Shoppers Stop tried to escape with some cash but was held during the security check by the mall’s security staff, he said.

Shipra Mall is one of the most popular malls in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Shoppers Stop is among its major attractions.

Shoppers Stop attracts about 10,000 footfalls a day on weekdays and 50,000 footfalls during the weekend on average.

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