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19-year-old arrested in Mumbai for Sharada Gajanan Temple theft

The stolen gold ornaments weighed 250 grams. The man was arrested in Mumbai when he was trying to sell the ornaments, police said.

By: Express News Service | Pune | January 10, 2021 8:57:48 pm
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A 19-year-old man was arrested on Saturday in connection with the theft of gold ornaments from Sharada Gajanan Temple in the city on Friday. The man was arrested in Mumbai when he was trying to sell the ornaments, police said.

On the morning of January 8, a burglary was reported at the Sharada Gajanan Temple of the Akhil Mandai Mandal in Mandai. Security camera footage revealed that a burglar had broken into the premises at midnight by cutting the door lock with the help of a heavy duty cutter and then fleeing with the gold ornaments, including Suvarnahar, Kanthi and Mangalsutra on the Sharada Gajanan idol. The stolen gold ornaments weighed 250 grams. The break-in came to light in the morning when the temple priest arrived and noticed that the ornaments were missing.

Teams from Vishrambag police station and Pune City Police’s Crime Branch launched parallel probes to identify and arrest the suspect. Senior Inspector Vijay Tikole of Vishrambag police station said, “Based on the clues from security camera footage, we found that the suspect had taken a train to Mumbai after the theft. He went to a lodge in Sakinaka. But by the time we reached there, he had left after a change of clothes. We got in touch with jewellers in the area and some of them were issued notices asking them to inform us if the suspect came to them to sell the stolen ornaments. The notice was also shared on the WhatsApp groups of jewellers in Mumbai.”

Officials said that a team from Lokmanya Tilak Marg police station in Mumbai received a tip-off about a man trying to sell gold ornaments. After verifying his identity, the police on Saturday detained the man, Ajay Mahavir Bhtukar, who is from Hingoli district.

Bhutkar had already sold some of the gold ornaments and was carrying the cash he received upon selling them, police said. The stolen ornaments and the cash was recovered from him, police said.

He was handed over to Pune police on Sunday morning. Bhutkar is a school dropout and has also received wrestling training, police said.

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