M A I N   N E W S

Rs10-cr heist in 12 mins
Gang, posing as cops, decamps with gold, diamond jewellery from a Tanishq showroom in Chandigarh’s Manimajra
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 12
A gang of 12 to 15 armed robbers, five of whom were dressed in police uniform, pulled off a major heist at the Tanishq showroom in Manimajra in the wee hours today and decamped with gold and diamond jewellery worth at least Rs 10 crore by overpowering two security guards at gunpoint.

The heist, which was effected in a mere 12 minutes flat, has come as a major embarrassment to the Chandigarh Police which is proving to be ineffective against a spate of crime in the union territory.

The incident occurred at 3.20 am when the gang of robbers came to the showroom and asked two security guards- Dina Nath and Swaran Singh- to come to the rear side of the showroom while asking them whether they had heard the sound of gunshots.

Taking them to be policemen, the security guards accompanied them only to end up being beaten and forcefully asked to consume a drug at gunpoint.

The robbers then tied the hands and legs of the two security guards and threw them at the nearby cremation ground. While three of the robbers guarded the drugged security guards, the other robbers first broke open the shutter; then the central locking system fixed to the internal doors with a gas cutter and also snapped the wires of the sensory wires. Twelve minutes later, the gang members fled with whatever jewellery was on display in a vehicle, which the guard said he was unable to identify because of the fog.

It was only around 5 am when security guard Swaran Singh regained consciousness following which he managed to untie his legs and rushed to his home in Manimajra with his hands still tied. Swaran Singh’s father, Sucha Singh, then informed the owner of the showroom about the robbery. The latter then dialled the police.

The police reached the spot and found Dina Nath to be in an unconscious state.

He was rushed to the Government Medical College Hospital in Sector 32 where he continues to remain in an unconsciousness state.

The entire showroom was found to be ransacked and, as per initial estimates, over 30 kg gold and other diamond jewellery has been stolen. Police said that the robbers entered the showroom by breaking the locks with gas cutters. They also cut the sensory wires of the security alarm, which had rung once, the police said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), UT, Naunihal Singh said the robbery was the handiwork of professionals who were well versed with the showroom. “We found three caps, one khakhi shirt, and a metal badge with the words ‘Head constable Sunil UP police’ on it which had been abandoned at the rear of the showroom. As per CCTV footage, all the accused were wearing monkey caps and therefore could not be identified,” said Naunihal Singh. Forensics from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) are learnt to have collected vital clues from the spot.

The police has registered a case of dacoity under Section 395 of the IPC in Manimajra police station 

The Eyewitness account

I was on duty at a nearby showroom when suddenly 12 to 15 persons approached me. As five of them were in police uniform, I took all of them to be cops. They asked me if I had heard the sound of gunshots from the rear of the showroom. Dina Nath, who was on guard outside Tanishq, and I then went along with them. As soon as we reached the rear side of showroom, one of the robbers, slapped me while another pointed a gun at my forehead. He then forced me to consume a tablet and I fell unconscious. Meanwhile, another robber had held Dina Nath at gunpoint. I regained consciousness in the morning.  — Swaran Singh, security guard

Modus Operandi

The gang of dacoits dispersed in three groups once they overpowered the security guards.

Three of them manned the rear of the showroom, another four stood guard outside the showroom. The rest collected the jewellery inside.

CCTV footage shows the robbers entered the showroom at 3.35 am and made an exit 12 minutes later, at 3.47 am. 





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