Rs.10 mn diamond jewellery heist at Ghaziabad mall (Lead)

March 12th, 2009 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Ghaziabad, March 12 (IANS) In a perfectly scripted heist, burglars walked into a
Shoppers Stop department store at the glitzy Shipra Mall here and decamped with diamond jewellery worth nearly Rs.1 crore (Rs.10 million). Police suspect an insider job as the robbers knew the layout and had avoided the security cameras.

According to police, the burglars sneaked into the store when it had closed, took out the keys from the place where they were kept, opened the glass cases of the jewellery counters and took away jewellery. The assailants fled from the back door of the store where no cameras were installed.

Superintendent of Police (City) Anant Dev said Thursday: “The burglars opened two cases of the counter where only Gili diamond jewellery was kept.”

The burglary was discovered by Shoppers Stop employees Wednesday when the store was opened around 3 p.m. after Holi. The heist probably happened a day earlier.

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

Shoppers Stop employees told the police that their management at Mumbai is 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 it. At present 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-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.

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, which is spread over two floors in the mall and has branches all over 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 such big a store, the Shoppers Stop did not install any CCTV for its own security. There should have been proper security measures of the store,” a senior member of the Shipra Mall management said.

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

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