Two masked robbers have made away with jewels worth several crores at a branch of the popular Lalithaa Jewellery in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy district. When employees entered the store on Wednesday just before 9 am, it was discovered that an entire section of jewellery mannequins had their valuables missing with the protective covering undone. These consisted of gold and diamond necklaces. Even as a police investigation is underway, the latest estimates suggest that these jewels weighing approximately 100 kg could be worth many crores.
CCTV footage captured at the store shows two men — one wearing a dog mask and another a cat mask — entering the ground floor of the store with duffel bags in hand. The store is located near the busy Chathram bus stand area of the city. However, the store borders an empty plot of land through which the thieves are suspected to have drilled a hole for passage. The hole remained partially hidden from view thanks to the compound wall.
The incident is said to have taken place between 2 am and 4: 30 am in the wee hours of Wednesday. The robbery, which appears to have been meticulously planned, also saw the burglars wear gloves in order not to leave their fingerprints at the crime scene. According to reports, the criminals had also sprinkled molagapodi (chilli powder) to throw the sniffer dogs off their scent. Though many movies have popularised this trick, many experts believe that other than distracting the sniffer dogs for sometime, it will not wipe away the human scent.
Kiran Kumar, the chairman of Lalithaa Jewellery who is often seen in the advertisements for the company, also arrived at the store and was seen talking to police officials on the scene. The district police has formed seven special teams to nab the thieves. In addition to examining CCTV footage of the area, the police has also reportedly sought a log of guests at nearby lodges and hotels.