Hyderabad, Jan 27: A man has surrendered in the sensational Rs.5.97 crore gold heist from a leading jewellery shop here, while another accused is still at large, police said.
The accused, Kiran Kumar, reached a television channel’s office late Sunday and informed the staff that he stole the gold ornaments from Tanishq showroom in Punjagutta on the night of Jan 24-25.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma Monday produced Kiran Kumar before the media. He said police were on the lookout for another accused Anand, who is the cousin of Kiran Kumar.
He said except a small quantity of gold which is with the absconding accused, almost the entire 15.57 kg gold ornaments and precious stones were recovered.
The management of the showroom had initially complained to police that 18 kg gold ornaments and 12 kg studded ornaments worth nearly Rs.23 crore were stolen but after auditing, the management altered it to 15.57 kg gold ornaments and stones worth Rs.5.97 crore.
Both the accused, hailing from Guntur district and settled in Hyderabad, are masons by profession and they committed the crime for money.
Police commissioner said while Kiran Kumar wanted to be a pilot and required Rs.15 lakh for the fee, polio-afflicted Anand was in need of Rs.15 lakh to Rs.20 lakh for surgery.
The police chief said the accused got worried after police launched a hunt and there was media attention.
“They were finding it difficult to dispose gold and hence decided to surrender. Kiran Kumar approached a local television channel,” he said.
Kiran Kumar initially claimed that he alone committed the crime but police found that man captured in CCTV cameras installed in the shop appeared handicapped. After police interrogated him, he confessed that his cousin Anand was also involved.
Telugu news channel TV9 said Kiran Kumar came to its office late Sunday night and confessed the crime. The channel team informed the police.
He took the police team to his room in Rasoolpura neighbourhood, where the stolen gold was reportedly found.
Kiran Kumar told the channel that he alone committed the theft to create a sensation and to draw people’s attention. He said he was fed up with injustices and corruption in society.
“I am better than politicians. They do this for five years and I did only one night,” he told the channel.
The accused drilled the hole in the rear wall of the shop located in the busy Punjagutta area in the heart of the city. They entered through the hole, switched off the lights, broke open the locked table counters and looted the gold ornaments and stones.
Anand entered the shop wearing a mask and hand gloves and had also covered his legs with polythene bags. He also sprinkled chilli powder in the shop to avert the police dogs from catching any scent.
The police chief said the masons completed their work in two nights – on the night of Jan 23 and again on the night of Jan 24-25.
As the shop had a window at the time of construction but later closed it with bricks, the accused appeared to have some information about this and drilled the hole at that point.