Updated: December 3, 2021 5:39:23 am
The Jaipur police on Thursday arrested the man accused of stealing jewellery worth over Rs 2 crore from Hotel Clarks Amer in the city by pretending to be a wedding guest.
According to the police, the accused, identified as Jayesh Ravji Sejpal, 50, was arrested from Surat, where he was hiding after the robbery. The accused is also suspected to have committed a similar theft in a hotel in Udaipur on November 20, before he carried out the heist in Jaipur on November 25, said officials.
Police said Sejpal has been carrying out heists in a similar manner since 2000.
“While sharing information with 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 states such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam, Trivendram, Agra, Lucknow and Udaipur… He had been arrested before as well,” Ajay Pal Lamba, additional commissioner of police, Jaipur, told reporters on Thursday.
He added that the loot from the November 25 robbery had been recovered from Sejpal.
According to the FIR, 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.
“We are contacting the police in those 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 also carried out a similar heist in Jaipur back in 2019 at a hotel in Amer. We will be questioning the accused regarding this case as well. There are more than 30 cases registered against the accused…” 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 his class 10 class examinations, lives alone and is divorced,” he said.
Elaborating on Sejpal’s alleged modus operandi, Lamba said he would use government buses to travel to the citiy where he planned a heist and would stay in lodges near bus stands. Sejpal had stayed at a hotel near the Sindhi Camp bus stand, Lamba added.
“After reaching a city, he finds out about the five star hotels in the area through the internet. While going to the hotels, he keeps changing vehicles and uses public transport. At the hotel, if he doesn’t find a group of guests, he goes on to the next hotel,” Lamba said.
On the November 25 robbery at Clarks Amer, police said Sejpal had pretended to be part of a group of guests. “After he reached Clarks Amer, a group had arrived and they had booked 48 rooms at the hotel. He mingled with the group and the hotel staff thought that 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 to commit the crime on November 24 but couldn’t succeed,” said Lamba.
“When the group left the hotel for a function, the accused called the reception from a phone in the lobby and identified as the man 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…” said Lamba.
Sejpal left the city the next morning, Lamba said.
The police named several hotel chains across the country where Sejpal allegedly carried out heists.
The police said that a preliminary investigation suggests that Sejpal had carried out similar heists in states such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal, Telangana and Kerala.
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