Seventy two sovereigns of gold, over two kg of silver and cash were stolen from the locked house of a retired Public Works Department engineer at Pykara in the early hours of Tuesday.
The city police said the family members of Annamalaisamy (70), former Superintending Engineer, were away in Chennai since Thursday last. On Tuesday morning, a neighbour alerted them about the broken front door, following which the police arrived at the house at Alagu Sundaram Nagar.
The thieves entered the house by breaking open the iron grille gate and unscrewing the padlock of the front wooden door. Valuables, including Rs. 27,000, kept in four cupboards and an iron safe were stolen. The keys of the cupboards that had been left in a drawer came in handy for the thieves, the police said.
However, Rs. 2 lakh kept in another cupboard remained intact as the thieves could not open it.
A police officer said that an elderly woman in the neighbourhood had noticed lights switched on in the locked house at around 2.30 a.m. She had also seen movement of two persons in the house.
The woman had called two other neighbours to get the mobile number of Annamalaisamy.
However, as she could not get the number she left the matter at that.
“Had she made a call to 100 (police control), we could have caught them red-handed,” the officer said.
The Subramaniyapuram police have registered a case.
Meanwhile, 16 sovereigns of gold were stolen from the house of TV anchor ‘Madurai’ Muthu at Raghavendra Nagar in S.S. Colony police limits.
The police said the family members, who were away, were shocked to see the lock of one of the doors broken open. The jewellery kept in a cupboard was missing.
The S.S. Colony police are investigating.