About 18kg of gold and Rs 12 lakh in cash were recovered, according to Chhattisgarh police. (Representational Image: News18)
Lokesh Srinivas, who has at least seven cases of robbery against his name, allegedly carried out this daring heist in the national capital. He is currently in the custody of Chhattisgarh police
The owners of the 75-year-old Umrao Singh Jewellers in Delhi’s Jangpura locality got the shock of their lives when on reaching their store on Tuesday, they discovered a robbery of more than Rs 25 crore. Initially what seemed like an operation by a crafty gang turned out to be the work of just one person, according to the police.
Lokesh Srinivas, who has at least seven cases of robbery against his name, allegedly carried out this daring heist in the national capital.
How law caught up with him
The crime branch of Durg police in Chhattisgarh was on the hunt for an accused in a jewellery shop robbery case in Secunderabad. When authorities finally got their hands on a man named Lokesh Rao, he told the police that his friend Lokesh Srinivas had gone to Delhi to carry out a big heist. This happened days before the robbery and officials purportedly did not take this statement too seriously.
After the news broke on Tuesday morning about the heist in Delhi’s Jangpura area, a junior officer of Chhattisgarh police informed a counterpart in Delhi police on Thursday morning. This became the first lead of the Delhi police. Officials then searched online for the accused Lokesh Srinivas and his photograph from a time when he was arrested in a robbery case popped up. This image was then compared with CCTV visuals, and they were a match.
The police then did a thorough investigation and it was found out that whenever the accused travelled to Delhi, he would go by road and deboard at Kashmere Gate. A team of Delhi police was sent to Kashmere Gate on September 28, where it was discovered that he had booked a ticket at around 8.45 pm on the 25th.
Once it was established that he had fled to Durg, a team of Delhi police reached Chhattisgarh. There, an investigation was ongoing in another robbery case, where Chhattisgarh police had nabbed an accused Shiva, who told officials that he along with Lokesh Srinivas had rented a flat in Smriti Nagar area. Chhattisgarh police reached the spot at 7pm on Thursday and the Delhi police team arrived there around 11pm, and they waited for Lokesh. Lokesh returned to his rented accommodation at 5.45 am on September 29 and was detained. About 18kg of gold and Rs 12 lakh in cash were recovered, according to Chhattisgarh police.
Lokesh is still in the custody of Chhattisgarh police as there are other cases against him in the state.
Delhi’s deputy commissioner of police (east) Rajesh Deo told the media, “This case is an example of intra-police coordination & cooperation…We received information yesterday from a police officer of the crime branch of Durg police that during interrogation one of the accused, who was finally caught, had told his partner that he was going to Delhi to do a big job. The accused’s name was said to be Lokesh Srinivas and when we saw his photograph, it matched with our suspect. After technical surveillance, it was established that Lokesh’s location on September 24 was suspicious. We had footage, and on that basis, we verified his travel mode…We sent a team to Raipur. Parallelly, Bilaspur police were looking for him in two of his thefts…This morning, Lokesh reached his hideout, and in a joint operation, we raided and caught him.”
Delhi police is now waiting to take custody of Lokesh so that the missing pieces of this perplexing puzzle can be found.