Mumbai

Three held for breaking into Jain temples in Navi Mumbai

Wanted since October 2018, accused stole valuables worth ₹4 lakh

Wanted since October 2018, three people from Rajasthan have been nabbed by the APMC police for breaking into Jain temples at four places.

Babulal Chaudhary, Ramesh Chaudhary and Kaluram Chaudhary were arrested in the last two weeks. From October 2018, they broke into Jain temples at Vashi, Turbhe, Panvel and Kalyan, said sub-inspector Babu Khatpe from the APMC police station.

“The accused worked as caterers and accompanied people for tours to cook food for them,” he said. Mr. Ramesh was a resident of Shiravane in Nerul and Mr. Kaluram was from Mumbra. Mr. Babulal stayed wherever a contractor gave him work. “All three had immense financial liabilities and their family lived in extreme poverty in Rajasthan.

Mr. Ramesh had visited the Jain temples on several ocassions as a part of a catering assignment and did a recce of the area and noted the location of the CCTV cameras. He figured out that the locks used on the donation boxes and the idol room were quite small and could easily be broken,” Mr. Khatpe said. He suggested the idea of breaking into temples to his companions as it was easier than breaking into houses. “Breaking into residences involved too many risks and hence they thought temples can be the best option to steal from,” Mr. Khatpe said.

The accused covered their faces while conducting the thefts. In Vashi, the accused made away with the CCTV cameras as well. In all, valuables worth ₹4 lakh, including cash and silver crowns on the idols were stolen in the four thefts. Valuables worth ₹1.45 lakh and ₹10,000 cash have been recovered.

With the help of dump data, the police zeroed in on the accused by identifying the common mobile numbers that were active at all four places on the days of the theft. After finding the numbers, the police traced the accused with the help of CDR and the location of the mobile phone. The first arrest was made in February and the rest were made in the span of two weeks.

“The accused were presented before a court on Friday and have now been remanded in judicial custody. While we had arrested them for theft in the Turbhe temple, the rest of the police stations will now get their custody for the thefts in their jurisdiction,” senior police inspector Satish Nikam from the APMC police station said.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 2:45:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/three-held-for-breaking-into-jain-temples-in-navi-mumbai/article26353929.ece

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