The Azad Maidan police arrested four men for stealing goods worth over Rs 20 lakh from an antique store on DN Road last month. The mastermind who allegedly planned the theft and executed it along with three others, had also stolen goods from the same store in April last year, police said.
Abdul Hamid Sheikh, the owner of International Stamp and Coins, had first lodged a complaint with the Azad Maidan police in April 2016, stating that Indian and foreign currency and antique postal stamps worth Rs 76,86,400 were stolen from his office. Upon investigation, the police found that there were signs of unauthorised entry from the office window.
On September 3, 2017, there was another robbery at the same shop, this time of goods worth Rs 20,24,871. The police said that locks of the shuttered shop had been opened using a duplicate key. With CCTV camera at the store not proving useful — the robbers allegedly stole the recording machine and dumped in it a lake — the police spoke to others working in the area and arrested the robbers from Nashik and Ratnagiri.
Vasant Wakhare, senior inspector, Azad Maidan police station, said Dinesh Khade (23), a resident of Vile Parle, was the mastermind of both the robberies. “Khade often sat in the store. Sheikh left him alone for a while and went to read namaaz. Khade seized the opportunity and got the office keys duplicated. Later, he, along with Vijay Waghmare (19), Vinod Jadhav (23) and Praful Shinde (23), broke into the shop,” said Wakhare.
The police have recovered goods worth Rs 19,27,000 from the first robbery and Rs 19,87,470 from the second. They will be returned to Sheikh. All four have confessed to the crime, Wakhare said .