The Gamdevi police on Sunday arrested a 25-year-old maid who, along with her husband, made duplicate keys to the safes in her employer’s house last week and robbed gold ornaments and cash worth Rs 37 lakh.
The entire booty comprising ornaments such as pearl necklaces and diamond studded bangles, expensive watches, and dresses which architect Yatish Kini, a resident of Gamdevi, had stored for his youngest son Sanjay’s wedding, were recovered from the maid identified as Maria Tigga.
The maid was arrested on Sunday along with her husband Joseph Tigga, the mastermind behind the crime, following a manhunt that led all the way to Virar. “She had been working for our family for the last eight years, she was like a family member, we trusted her blindly. We didn’t know she would betray eight years of trust in just one day,’’ said Yatish Kini.
Interestingly, the police announced the recovery of the booty to the Kini family even as Sanjay was tying the knot on Sunday. “We thank the police for getting us everything back intact,’’ said Kini.
The robbery took place on November 21 when Kini along with his family had left for Pune to attend a wedding. The following day when they returned the family was shocked to see that their flat had been ransacked, the safe broken, and that ornaments and cash totalling Rs 37 lakh were missing. Kini called the police and told them that they suspected Maria as she was missing.
Police then launched a manhunt with the help of a photograph provided by the employer. “We carried out a search of hotels and lodges in Thane and Navi Mumbai and finally got a tip-off that Maria was staying in a rented flat in Virar. We laid a trap and arrested the couple with the entire booty,’’ said inspector Shyam Parulekar.
Investigations revealed that the Kinis had locked up the three rooms where the safes were located, leaving merely the hall open for Maria to stay. But Maria had made duplicate keys of the safes as well as the rooms.
Maria, along with Joseph, had bundled the entire loot, including the ornaments and garments, into nine different handbags, hired a taxi and proceeded to Dadar. From Dadar they took a taxi directly to Virar, said police commissioner D N Jadhav while addressing a press conference on Monday.