In the biggest ever burglary in the capital, unidentified persons stole 30 kg gold ornaments and colour stones worth over Rs.23 crore, from a Tanishq showroom in the bustling Punjagutta area, less than a kilometre from the Chief Minister’s camp office early on Saturday.

Intruders entered the showroom by drilling a hole to the rear wall and made away with the booty. Visuals captured in surveillance cameras installed inside the showroom showed that a lean person in his 20s entered through the rectangle-shaped hole. To prevent police from collecting finger and footprints, he covered hands with surgical gloves and legs with small gunny bags.

Chilli powder was also sprinkled inside the premises to avert the police dog from catching any scent. Using torchlight, he broke open the locked table counters using an iron rod and stole the plain gold ornaments, colour stones and ‘kundan’ ornaments, said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) K. R. Nagaraj.

But, the burglars did not touch the jewellery displayed on walls and other chest draws, the police said and suspect that at least three persons could have been involved in the heist. The accused might have handed over the stolen gold ornaments to his associates waiting outside the wall, and later escaped.

According to Mr. Nagaraj, the meticulously done burglary could have been committed only after scouting the ground plus four-storeyed Tejaswi Plaza building in which the Tanishq showroom was located on the first-floor. The police surmise that the intruder made use of a narrow gap between the building and compound wall on the rear side. Climbing the wall, the intruder could have entered narrow gap and broke into the showroom by drilling a hole with a battery operated hand-held drilling machine. Two security guards were on night duty last night but they told the police that they did not hear any sound from inside. A police dog that pressed into service stopped behind the building from where the accused had entered the premises. The dog later went through the main road, entered inside a lane and stopped near the adjacent Topaz building. “It’s definitely the handiwork of persons having expertise to commit such crimes. We are examining the CCTV footage to identify the person who entered the showroom,” explained Mr. Nagaraj.

In his complaint, Tanishq showroom General Manager R. Manikandan said that the showroom was closed as usual on Friday at 9 p.m. “We noticed the theft around 10 a.m., when we opened the showroom and entered inside . Plain gold ornaments weighing 18 kg (approximate value - Rs.11 crore and colour stones along with ‘kundan’ jewellery weighing 12 kg (approximate value – Rs.12 crore) was stolen, he said. Later in the evening, the police picked up two security guards in connection with the case.