WITHIN A fortnight of busting a gang allegedly involved in the theft of heritage furniture from Sector 10 museum in in the city, the UT Police has solved the Le Corbusier centre theft as well. Three women were arrested on Sunday for stealing prestigious heritage furniture from the centre.
The police recovered eight heritage sofa chairs and a table from their possession. One table remains to be recovered. A case was registered on October 2 last year while the theft was allegedly committed on the intervening night of September 23 and 24. The security guard of the centre, Mohan Chand Joshi, was questioned by the police as part of the investigation. He committed suicide on October 3.
Three women arrested included Rekha (35), Seema (40) and Haseena (30), all residents of Sector 25 colony. The accused are small-time scrap dealers and the police believe they used to indulge in petty thefts before they finally targeted the Le Corbusier centre.
UT Senior Superintendent of Police Sukhchain Singh Gill said, “We have arrested three women and recovered eight v-shaped heritage sofa chairs and a table. One table is yet to be recovered. These three women have no connection with the other accused who were arrested on charges of stealing heritage furniture from Sector 10 museum. We are investigating the case further.”
“The accused were involved in petty thefts and were active in Sector 19 and surrounding areas. Since they used to move around in Sector 19, they knew that some precious furniture was lying in Le Corbusier centre. They made some enquiries and realised that it could fetch them good money if they steal the furniture. On the intervening night of September 23-24, they finally reached the centre and managed to steal away eight chairs and two tables,” SSP Gill told mediapersons.
In their preliminary interrogation, the accused told the police that they reached the Le Corbusier centre around 3.30 on the intervening night of September 22-23, broke the locks and decamped with eight chairs and two tables. “After stealing the furniture, the accused stopped a tempo and then took the furniture to their residences in Sector 25 colony,” Gill added.
The SSP said that the accused tried to sell the stolen items but failed. “They approached a scrap dealer and gave him details about the furniture. But the dealer refused to buy the furniture as he got suspicious. The accused divided furniture items among themselves and kept them at their houses,” Gill said.
Tip-off from accused in museum theft case
The SSP claimed that there was no link between Sector 10 museum and Le Corbusier centre theft cases. However, sources said that the police got a clue about Haseena, Rekha and Seema from the interrogation of Sunil and Faqir Chand, the two accused who were caught in the Sector 10 museum theft case. Rekha was the first to be arrested who further revealed the names of Haseena and Seema.
While there had been a few cases of theft of heritage furniture from various parts of the city, these are the only two cases that have been worked out by the police and that too in a span of a fortnight.
n Transportation of stolen items: The police disclosed that the accused waited for a tempo, loaded the stolen furniture items in the wee hours of September 23 and then took these to their houses. However, it was not explained how and from where the accused found a tempo in the wee hours of that day. The SSP also could not explain if the accused stole the furniture and then waited for a vehicle outside the Le Corbusier centre. To the queries, SSP Gill replied, “We are investigating the case.”