Gang held hours after robbery bid

Police conduct an investigation at Samrat Jewels store located at Palace Guttahalli. DH Photo/ Janardhan B K

The city police, in a swift action, arrested a gang of four interstate robbers, including a dismissed BSF constable, who had walked into a jewellery store in Palace Guttahalli on Wednesday and opened fire.

The bid was foiled after the jeweller’s wife hurled a chair at them and raised an alarm. The gang fled the spot, leaving behind a mobile phone and a helmet which turned clues for the police. An eyewitness account also came in handy.

The arrested have been identified as Balaji Ramesh Gayakwad (25) from Sholapur district in Maharashtra; Balwan Singh (24) from Bhiwani in Haryana, who is a dismissed Border Security Force constable; Sriram Bishnoi (26) from Barmer, Rajasthan; and Omprakash (27) from Jalore, Rajasthan.

“Gayakwad, the prime accused, was involved in a bank robbery in Satara in Maharashtra in March. The Maharashtra police were on the lookout for him,” said DCP Central, Chethan Singh Rathore.

Gayakwad escaped from Satara with his share of booty and purchased two firearms from Bihar before reaching Bengaluru.

He hatched a plan to rob a jewellery shop and roped in Bishnoi and Omprakash, who were working as steel fabricators in Banaswadi. Gayakwad also brought in Balwan Singh, who was dismissed by BSF after he was arrested for opening fire at a neighbour.

After conducting recces over a period of time, the gang zeroed in on Samrat Jewels. On Wednesday, they came to the shop posing as customers. Balwan, still wearing a helmet, pulled out a pistol and threatened store owner Aashish. Aashish’s wife Rakhi hurled a steel chair at them, following which the accused fled.

The police found that the bike used by the gang was stolen three days ago from Race Course Road. Based on a tip-off, they nabbed the gang near Vyalikaval circle.

Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to the team.

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