: Unidentified persons decamped with 66 sovereigns of jewels, two kg of silver and Rs. 2.5 lakh in cash from the premises of a pawnbroker at Silaiman near here on Tuesday night.

Madurai district police said that following information from the pawnbroker Malaichamy, the Silaiman police visited the spot.

The miscreants broke open the shutter-type door from the front entrance and gained entry into the shop. The complainant has his residence in the rear portion of the building.

Whether the inmates were present at the time of occurrence or not was yet to be ascertained.

Normally, the pawnbroker used to close the shop by around 7 p.m., and his staff would lock the premises and hand over the keys at the owner’s residence.

On rare occasion, the pawnbroker would take emergency calls from regular customers and oblige them by giving money.

As there was not much activity on Tuesday night due to a public holiday, the pawnbroker was away from his work spot. Sensing his absence, some culprits might have committed the crime, a senior police officer said.

Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan said finger print experts had visited the scene of crime and investigations were on. The Silaiman police have registered a case.

Discreet probe suggested that the gold jewels pledged by the public were intact while second-hand jewelleries meant for re-sale by the pawnbroker, cash and silver wares were missing. There are two lockers on the premises and they are said to be intact. The recording in the CCTV, which had been installed on the premises, was being examined by a team of officers, Mr. Balakrishnan said and hoped to solve the crime soon.

In Avaniapuram police station limits, on September 7, a resident Solaimurugan of Mela Anuppanadi Housing Board reportedly lost 75 sovereigns of gold and Rs. 2 lakh cash. When the inmates were away, some unidentified miscreants committed the crime and escaped with the booty. DSP Purushothaman and team visited the spot then.

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