Key-maker steals jewellery from newly wed woman's house

A key maker left a newly wed woman poorer by Rs 2.5 lakh by stealing her jewellery from an almirah whose duplicate key he was called-in to make in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar.

The face of the thief has been captured in CCTV footage while he was leaving the crime scene after the incident on February 6 afternoon, police said on Wednesday.

A theft case has been registered on the complaint of Bharti Bhandari whose gold jewellery, gifted during her wedding last month, was stolen by the key maker, police said.

The house where the theft took place is in a block which is notorious for thefts and break-ins. A house of Bharti’s neighbour has been burgled twice in a year, once just a day before his marriage. Jewellery, cash and laptops were stolen on both occasions.

Another working couple’s jewellery worth Rs 1.5 lakh was stolen a few months ago and a mobile phone shop nearby was broken into for costly gadgets and laptops in December.   

Bharti said on the day of the incident, the key-maker, a regular to the L Block spent over an hour fiddling with his tools to make a duplicate key of the almirah. “He was probably taking so much time to find an opportunity to remove the valuables and hide them in his tool bag,” said Bharti.

Bharti’s father-in-law Devender Bhandari said: “He took so long that none of us was able to continuously keep an eye on him while he was making the duplicate key.”

Before leaving, he told us that he was finding it difficult to make the duplicate key alone and would bring another colleague within an hour to finish the task. “He left around 1.30 pm but did not return. We thought he would come the next day or was not interested in doing the job,” said Bhandari, a retired bank official.

However, the family detected the theft in the evening around 8 pm when they located their lost almirah key and opened it to find Bharti’s jewellery missing.

“We informed the PCR and local police and showed them the thief’s photos in our neighbour’s CCTV camera,” said Bhandari, who lives with his wife, two sons and daughters-in-law in the same ground-floor flat where the theft took place.

“It has been four days but police haven’t taken the footage from us for tracing the thief,” said Bhandari, hoping that investigators’ laxity does not make the case impossible to solve.

Area residents told police that the bearded key maker used to come to the area and call out for customers who wanted to get locks repaired or duplicate keys made.

Bhandari said the CCTV footage showed that the key-maker looked into the camera and presented a very calm look so that he did not show nervousness or urgency to leave the spot.

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