Cocking a snook at law enforcers,sandalwood thieves have once again struck at the Pune police headquarters in Shivajinagar.
A sandalwood tree was cut and stolen between 11 pm on April 28 and 6 am on April 29.
Satish Jamdade (38),who is attached to the wireless department,reported the theft to Shivajinagar police. Investigation officer assistant inspector P R Waghmare said the tree was near a water tank close to gate number 2.
Police suspect the 12-foot-high tree with a 3-inch girth was chopped with a hacksaw.
On September 30 last year,two sandalwood trees were stolen from Western Bungalow,the residence of IPS officer Suresh Thakkar near gate 2 of the police headquarters.
While the Ganesh immersion day case remains unsolved,police claimed suspects took advantage of the loud music played during processions.
This time,however,they have no such excuse. The latest theft is a major lapse on the part of police responsible for securing the headquarters. There is round-the-clock police presence at the headquarters. The thieves still managed do a reice,identify trees,chop and steal and flee.
On January 30,Mahendrasingh Mukne (50),owner of Chandrama bungalow in lane number 3 of Koregaon Park,had opened fire from his licenced revolver at a gang of four sandalwood thieves. The thieves,in turn,pelted stones at him and bungalow guard Vijaysingh Chauhan.
Early on January 22,four persons allegedly chopped and stole sandalwood trees from the army quarters on Victoria Road,Vishwakarma Marg,and the forest research nursery office near Empress Garden in Ghorpadi. Wanavdi police arrested a gang from Solapur district for the thefts.