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It was the fourth theft at a jewellery shop in the city using the same modus operandi that led to the arrest of a mother-daughter duo on Saturday. Natives of Jammu, Rita and her daughter Aaradhna, who were caught red-handed while allegedly committing theft of diamond rings at Sham Jewellers, Sector 34, have confessed to committing three such thefts at various jewellery shops in the city — all in a span of around four months.
Rita’s son Ankush and his friend Aanchal, who too connived with them in committing thefts, are absconding.
The investigating officer of the case, Sub-Inspector Ramesh Chand, said, “Rita, Aaradhna and Ankush formed their own gang around three years ago and started operating in Chandigarh and some areas of Punjab. So far, in her interrogation Aaradhna has admitted that she was involved in four such thefts in the city which took place in a span of around four months. She told us that they committed two thefts in Talwar jeweller’s shop in Sector 22, followed by another in Sunder Jeweller in Sector 35. However, they were arrested in their fourth attempt at Sham Jeweller yesterday.”
Rita, the prime accused, told the police that she was a divorcee and she started committing thefts along with her son and daughter to meet their living expenses. “Rita told us that both Aaradhna and Ankush were well-educated but could not find suitable jobs. Thus, all three of them and Aanchal, a close friend of Ankush, started committing thefts. They had taken a house on a monthly rent of Rs 9,500 in Sector 56 where they used to stay for some time before committing the thefts and then go back to Jammu,” a cop of Sector 34 police station told Chandigarh Newsline.
Rita divorced her husband, who was working in Jammu and Kashmir Forest Department, seven years ago. She cited financial problems as the reason behind her divorce. She managed to sustain the studies of her children by doing small jobs but when the children grew up, she could not support them financially.
Preliminary interrogation of the accused revealed that Ankush and Aanchal first started committing thefts in various parts of Jammu and Punjab. As they continued to evade police arrest, he convinced Rita and Aaradhna to accompany him and all of them started committing thefts.
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The accused used to wear branded clothes to pose as genuine customers interested in buying gold and diamond jewellery.
A case was registered at Sector 3 police station. A local court remanded them in two-day police custody on Sunday. The police officials said that soon a case would also be registered at Sector 17 police station against the accused in connection with the theft in Talwar jeweller’s shop.
*Figured in earlier CCTV footage
RITA and Aaradhna were arrested from Sham Jeweller’s showroom in Sector 34 on Saturday after the showroom’s staff got suspicious of their activities. Although Ankush managed to escape, the staff stopped Rita and Aradhna at the exit. The staff then checked CCTV footage of Sunder Jeweller’s theft suspects that was circulated by the police among the city-based jewellers last month. Both Rita and Aradhna figured in that CCTV footage. The staff immediately informed the police who reached the spot and arrested the mother-daughter duo. The accused used to enter showrooms of jewellery and ask for diamond rings and other costly jewellery. They would then replace this jewellery with duplicate items.