The Navi Mumbai crime branch has arrested two men, a month after they stole ten Smart TVs from a Nerul hotel that was shut due to lockdown. The hotel was undergoing renovation in September when the duo raided 15 rooms and stole TVs along with other items from the bathrooms.
The duo, identified as Salman Khan, 45, a Mankhurd resident, and Satyam Harijan, 22, from Nallasopara, showed up at Hill View Residency in the intervening night of September 9 and 10.
Since the hotel was shut, the owner decided to undertake renovation work. On September 9, the painter finished painting work and locked the premises in the evening. When he returned the next morning, he found the items stolen.
“Both the accused have previous criminal records. They broke the window of the rooms to gain access into the hotel. They stole the items in a few hours and then loaded them into an auto, which they used as a getaway vehicle. We are on the lookout for the auto driver, who has gone to his native place,” said NB Kolhatkar, senior inspector, central unit crime branch.
The duo stole 10 TV sets, a computer desktop and bathroom fittings including towel racks and jet sprays. The CBD Belapur police had registered the case of house break-in following the incident.
The crime branch conducted a parallel probe based on the CCTV footage at the hotel and with the help of informants, traced the accused duo.
Police said the accused chose the hotel as they were aware that they will not be caught in the middle of the theft as the area was isolated at night with a quick entry and exit possible for them.
“They had planned to sell the TV sets but waited as they learnt police were looking for them. One of them stored the TVs at his Nallasopara house and they fled to Lonavala. There, they took up odd jobs and were keeping a low profile,” said Rajesh Gajjal, assistant inspector, crime branch, central unit.
Following their arrest, police recovered nine of the stolen TVs from Harijan’s Nallasopara house. It was also revealed that Harijan was allegedly involved in another theft case under the jurisdiction of NRI police for stealing from a temple.
Sign on to read the HT ePaper epaper.hindustantimes.com