Mumbai: While CCTVs in housing societies often prove a deterrent against theft and other crimes, certain criminal minds work their way around getting detected by the ever-vigilant eyes.
A domestic help working at the residence of Marathi actress Kranti Redkar of 'Kombdi Palali' fame from the movie 'Jatra' was arrested on Saturday for stealing Rs 1.3 lakh and jewellery worth Rs 4.5 lakh from the actresses' 15th floor flat at Galaxy Height in Goregaon (W).
Police have recovered Rs 40,000 of the stolen cash, and all the jewellery, which the maid wrapped in a towel and threw out the bathroom window to avoid being caught on CCTV cameras. The booty was found intact in the building premises, as the maid, after the theft, couldn't collect it due to a locked gate.
During police interrogation, Vandana Roge (20), who has been working at the Redkar residence since four years, confessed that she had planned the theft after Redkar's parents' had scolded her for bringing her boyfriend to the residence on October 5 when Redkar was out of town on work.
According to police, the boyfriend was offended with the shouting and asked Roge to leave the job immediately. Cops said, Roge left the job, but returned after two days. She again left the house on October 28, claiming that her mother was ill, and that she needed to be with her. She returned on November 5 and then left on November 6. It was on November 6 that the actress realised that her jewellery and cash was missing.
"She would keep going on short holidays and would steal some knick-knack from the house. She would confess about the same and would say that she did it for her boyfriend or ailing mother. She would also steal small amounts of cash, but we never thought she would carry out such a big theft. Initially, we never doubted her, but when she didn't turn up after November 6, our suspicions were aroused," said Redkar.
Senior police inspector Arun Jadhav of Goregaon police said, "She was the first suspect, as she couldn't be traced since the day of robbery."
Redkar's elder sister, who is doctor at a hospital, was instrumental in providing the breakthrough for the cops. Roge's mother had been admitted at her hospital once, and informed the cops about the same. "We got her residential address from the hospital directory, and traced her to Sanpada."
During questioning, the maid told cops that she didn't want to take the jewellery along with her due to fear of being caught on closed-circuit television cameras at the building. Hence, she threw the jewellery from the bathroom window, and intended to take it after leaving the flat.
But when she reached the building compound, she found that the jewellery landed at a place that had a locked gate and the keys were with the watchman. She then left without taking the jewellery. Cops have ruled out the involvement of her boyfriend in the crime.
When plans go awry:
1. The maid steals cash and jewellery from the cupboard
2. She then wraps the ornaments in a towel and flings it out from the toilet window
3. When she reaches the place where the booty landed, she realises the enclosure is inaccessible, as it is locked. She abandons the loot.