Jewellery worth Rs 7cr looted from shop in TN

In a major heist in the hosiery exports hub of Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu, miscreants broke open into a large jewellery shop owned by the Alukkas family of Kerala around midnight on Monday and virtually looted the entire showroom of its gold and diamond ornaments.

The jewellery shop turned a virtual goldmine for the robber-gang whose meticulous planning and finesse in execution came to the fore, when employees were shell-shocked to find that the range of jewellery displaced in one showcase after another had simply vanished as they opened the shop on Tuesday morning, police said.

Apparently taking advantage of ‘Shiv Raathri’ celebrations last night, the miscreants easily zeroed in on this target. The thieves gained entry through the ventilator slot after pulling it out on the rear side of the building, the Tiruppur District SP, Balakrishnan told Deccan Herald over phone.

The miscreants had also used a gas cutter to cut open a grill gate inside and broke two wooden doors to gain access to the showroom area in the shop before they swept it clean of all its precious jewels and escaped.  

The FIR registered by police said that 4,750 sovereigns of gold jewellery and two kg of diamond-studded jewels have been pillaged by the thieves. Their value has been roughly estimated at Rs 7 crore, said Balakrishnan.

The police official said that they were checking out the employees working in the jewellery shop and people in the vicinity in the heart of Tiruppur. The police have picked up some cues on which they are working.

A gas cutter used in welding, a tiny cylinder, some implements including a screw-driver and a crowbar left behind by the robbers have been recovered from the building’s rear side.

Malayalees as targets

The jewellery heist came barely a day after an equally daring bank robbery in Chennai during lunch hour when attackers at gun-point had threatened the bank staff and decamped with Rs 14 lakh. Chennai police have rushed a team to Bangalore today to follow up on leads.

It may be recalled that as the agitation over the Mullaperiyar dam issue in Tamil Nadu had recently taken a nasty turn, several jewellery, tea and confectionary shops run by Malayalees had been the target of attack by fringe pro-Tamil groups at different places. It is not immediately clear whether Tuesday’s heist at Tiruppur of Alukkas’ showroom had its genesis in those violent attacks.   

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