In a daring daylight robbery, a gang of 10-12 armed men raided a well-known jewellery shop here on Friday afternoon and decamped with diamond and gold ornaments worth Rs 4 crore. The robbers also took away the footage of the CCTV cameras and injured two persons who tried to resist the crime.
Police said it was the biggest jewellery shop heist in the state capital in recent memory. The incident, which occurred on Ashiana-Digha Road, a busiest commercial hub in the Patna, has sentshock waves among traders and general public in the city, as the Panchwati Jewellers, open for three years now, is situated just 2km from Rajiv Nagar police station. The police said that four robbers entered the shop at around 1.30 pm, posing as customers, while others outside the shop. There were no other customers and only employees were present.
“Posing as customers, the robbers entered our shop and asked us to show diamond necklaces. We did not notice anything wrong. All of them were in their mid-30s and were speaking in both Hindi and Bhojpuri,” said an employee.
Soon, the five who were standing outside entered the shop holding the security guard at gunpoint. The others also whipped out pistols and asked the staff to hand over all gold ornaments and not try to raise an alarm. When Ratnesh Kumar Sharma, chairman of the shop, and guard Chhotu resisted, the robbers hit them with pistol butts. “They threatened to kill the staff and owners if they did not cooperate,” said Sharma.
“We were scared and could not raise an alarm. We had to let them to take whatever we had and handed them the safe keys. They stuffed all the ornament inside their bags,” said another employee.
According to local residents, the men escaped from the spot waving guns in the air to scare the crowd. As soon as the dacoits left, some passerby informed the police. A large team of the police led by zonal IG Sunil Kumar, DIG Rajesh Kumar, SSP Garima Mallik and others arrived the spot and assured that the criminals would be nabbed at the earliest.
Officials said that the accused likely did a recce of the place before carrying out the heist.
Forensic experts and a dog squad were also pressed into the service. The police scanned the CCTV footage from cameras installed in the market. But before fleeing, the robbers also took away the DVR of the CCTV camera inside the shop.
The shop belongs to one Nitish Jain, who lives in Patel Nagar, and a native of Begusarai. Jain is a noted architect and builder of the state and also involved in hotel business.
The zonal IG formed a special investigation team (SIT) headed by SSP to crack the case. More than ten police officers included in the team and raids were being conducted in and around the state capital while CID team also assists the SIT.