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Man who targeted 5-star hotels, carried out heists in 9 states in 21 years held: Jaipur cops

🔴 The accused is also suspected of a similar theft at a hotel in Udaipur on November 20, before he carried out the heist in Jaipur on November 25.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
Updated: December 2, 2021 9:01:01 pm
According to the police, the accused, identified as Jayesh Ravji Sejpal, was arrested from Surat, where he was hiding ever since the incident. (Representational/File)

Rajasthan police Thursday arrested a man accused of stealing jewellery and other valuables worth over Rs 2 crore from the five star Hotel Clarks Amer in Jaipur by impersonating as a wedding guest.

According to the police, the accused, identified as Jayesh Ravji Sejpal, was arrested from Surat, where he was hiding ever since the incident. The accused is also suspected of a similar theft at a hotel in Udaipur on November 20, before he carried out the heist in Jaipur on November 25, said officials.

“While sharing information with the police from other states, we came to know that similar crimes with the same modus operandi of targeting five star hotels have taken place in other places like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Trivandrum, Agra, Lucknow and Udaipur. The accused is a resident of Surat in Gujarat. He had been arrested before as well,” Ajay Pal Lamba, additional commissioner of police, Jaipur, told the media Thursday.

He added that the entire stolen goods, including the jewellery, have been recovered from Sejpal.

While the suspect decamped with a pair of diamond earrings, gold jewellery and Rs 50,000 cash in the Udaipur incident, the items stolen from Hotel Clarks Amer are worth over Rs 2 crore, including gold and diamond jewellery and Rs 95,000 cash, the FIRs mention.

“We are contacting the police in the cities where he has carried out such thefts so that he can be arrested in those cases as well. We have also learnt that he had carried out a similar heist in Jaipur back in 2019 at a hotel in Amer. We will question him on this as well. There are 30 cases registered against the accused in various cities and he had started committing such crimes around 2000,” said Lamba.

“Till date, he has been sentenced in four different cases with a maximum jail term of 5 years in one of the cases. He failed the 10th class examinations, lives alone and is divorced,” he said.

Lamba added that in order to not leave any evidence, Sejpal would take government buses to travel to the cities where he planned to carry out the heists, and would stay at lodgings near bus stands. He was staying at a hotel near the Sindhi Camp bus stand, said the police.

“After reaching a city, he finds out about the five star hotels in the area through internet. While going to hotels, he keeps changing vehicles and uses public transport such as autorickshaws. At the hotel, if he doesn’t find a group of guests, he moves on to the next hotel,” Lamba said.

The police said that Sejpal had pretended to be part of a group of guests at the Clarks Amer Hotel before he stole the valuables.

“After he reached Clarks Amer, a group arrived and booked 48 rooms at the hotel. He mingled with the group and the hotel staff thought he was a member of the group. Thereafter, he found out more about the group and also memorised some of their names from their conversations. He tried committing the crime on November 24, but couldn’t succeed,” said additional commissioner Lamba.

He added that the accused had impersonated as one of the guests before stealing the valuables.

“When the group left the hotel for a function, the accused called the reception from a phone in the lobby and identified as someone who had booked the room and asked for the key. The hotel staff gave him the key. Thereafter, he called the reception once again and asked for the number of the maintenance staff. He told the maintenance staff that he had forgotten the combination of the locker. Someone from the technical team came to the room and opened the locker. Thereafter, he stole the jewellery and took it away in a bag, also owned by the family whose valuables he stole,” said Lamba.

The police said that after spending the night at the hotel in Jaipur, he left the city the next morning.

The police said hotels across the country where the accused has carried out such heists include Hotel Taj, Hotel Hyatt, Hotel Ramada, Hotel Town Plaza, Hotel Novotel, Hotel Mercury, Hotel Radisson Blu, Hotel Trident, Hotel Clarks Amer and Hotel Chandra Inn.

The police said the preliminary investigation suggests that Sejpal had carried out similar heists in states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Telangana and Kerala.

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