Thane: Rs 60-lakh temple theft; six arrested in 8 hourshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/thane-rs-60-lakh-temple-theft-six-arrested-in-8-hours-5338237/

Thane: Rs 60-lakh temple theft; six arrested in 8 hours

While the six accused were arrested on Sunday night, they were presented before the court on Monday. They have been remanded to police custody till September 12, police said.

The items recovered by the police. (Express Photo by Deepak Joshi)

Six people were arrested late Sunday for allegedly stealing Rs 60 lakh in cash and jewellery from a Krishna temple near the Thane police commissioner’s office within eight hours of committing the crime. Police said the accused were traced within eight hours with the help of CCTV camera footage from the shops located around the temple.

The accused have been identified as Santosh Kamble (26), his wife Rekha Kamble (21), Arun Sonkar (19), Shehzad Khan (25), Zulfikar Mansuri (22) and Azad Shaha (19). “Since the accused had disabled the CCTV cameras inside the temple, we started piecing together footage from shops and private CCTV cameras installed nearby. We also made a list of potential suspects, including people who have been accused of similar crimes in the past and have been released recently on bail or parole,” said a police officer.

The CCTV footage helped the police identify Santosh Kamble, the main accused. “Kamble was recently released from jail. We went to his house but didn’t find him. So, we detained his close friend who helped us in tracking him down… The friend confirmed that the man seen in the footage was Kamble. We then tracked his phone and activated our sources to look for him,” the officer said.

“Kamble was arrested from Shil Road…. He was travelling in a brand new vehicle, which he had bought on Sunday itself with some of the money he stole from the temple. The car had some stolen jewelry and money, while the rest he had stashed in the houses of his associates and himself,” the officer added.

While the six accused were arrested on Sunday night, they were presented before the court on Monday. They have been remanded to police custody till September 12, police said. “We have recovered some money and jewelry… we have also seized the car. We are investigating if the accused are wanted for some other robberies or criminal activities,” said the officer.