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Old 13th November 2007, 09:49   #1
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Angry Diwali robbery - thief makes hay when the diwali lights shine - NOW RECOVERED!!

Its a known fact that many of us go to our hometowns to celebrate diwali with our loved ones, but a lesser known fact that most robberies also occur at this time.

My story starts on 7th nov in bangalore when I left to pune for diwali.
I have an inkling that day to leave all lights on in my house during the period I am away, as this will keep people fooled on the fact that there is someone inside the house or not. Also cleverly leave my archos portable video player (which I use in car) plugged in and playing music in a continuous loop to further fool any potential thieves. Final check if the backdoor is secured and then lock the front door (2 locks) and slide close the grill and lock it with another 2 locks (those expensive godrej locks). I stay on the ground floor of a rented independant house near drdo and most of the rented occupants upstairs have also left for diwali. Push my car out of the parking and tell the maid to come later (without hinting that I am off for diwali). At the airport while browsing on gprs, decide to look at zicon protection for my bangy house and surf their website and also read through some home insurance policies and stuff. Decide that such security is important and I should get one post diwali

Switch to 12thnov monday, when I land back in Bangalore after a good 5 days of vacation. From the airport head to the office car parking - get my car and decide to visit trident hyundai and my K&N fitment guy (car shringar) for some talk related to an incomplete air intake fitting done (http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...rc-5052ab.html (K&N Cold air induction system RC-5052AB))
Decide to head back home before going to office so that I can refrigerate all the goodies mom has wrapped in.

Reach home and try to open one of the front grill godrej locks, but it does not open. With great difficulty try and open the lock and then open the 2nd grill lock and finally the main door locks. But the main door doesn't budge open and it seems like it has been locked from the inside. Immediately call the landlord and he says he is on his way and will be there soon and hints to checking the backside for any issues. I check from the small front window and there seems to be all things inside in disarray. Suspect the worst and quickly run behind the house, to see the loophole, my exposed bathroom window, which has multiple metal rods, 2 of which have been cut open.

Now I put things together and realise, I have been had!! Call the landlord and tell him, we need to call the police. We drive to the nearest police station (somewhere on omr in the direction of whitefield). On getting inside tell the sub inspector and he tells police inspector in passing that there is a house robbed. The cops decide to come along and we follow us back to the house. They investigate the bathroom window rods cut open and call a nearby construction worker to go in and open the door.

I walk into the house and then it dawns upon me, that whatever could have been slid out the bathroom window has been taken away. They tried to open the main door so that they could take away my 42" tv and other things but failed there. At first inspection (without touching anything) notice the following gone from hall
1) Sony PS3 along with the power cable, hdmi cable and optical sound wire
2) philips dvd player without the power cable
3) onkyo HT's speakers (6 of em i.e. 2rear+2front+2side ) - the subwoofer, center speaker and amp where taken off the trolley but left as too heavy or too many wires or some interruption.
4) archos 30gb portable video player
bedroom cupboards were open and all stuff strewn around
5) 4-5 watches were missing
6) 200-300 usd of foreign currency (USD and SGD)
7) some expensive suit and clothes missing

Being a bachelor, didnt really have cash and gold like the typical household, but the thief was someone who very much knew what he wanted i.e. all the expensive electronics and the stuff in cupboards was bonus.

Also it seems like 2 people did the job and planned very well as despte leaving lights and music on, they knew I wasn't there or maybe were sure that I am not there since my car is not parked at home when I am away (leave it at office)

There have been few robberies in this area (car stereos stolen of cars parked outside on the road), but this seems to be the largest heist. So far from the above list I have estimated roughly around 1.5 lacs worth of stuff gone. However the cheap things like dvds, game discs, phili shave, etc have been left back. This theif clearly knew whats worth stealing.

The cops now 6-8 of em, start their "investigation". One of them tells me to right a report on a blank piece of paper and then translates it into kannada for panchnama I guess. Also learn from maid that she was told by construction workers etc that street dogs were barking a lot on sunday late night-monday early morning time and there was a raddi wala who was seen dragging two wooden logs (or planks) from outside my bathroom window on monday. ANother construction worker from across the read tells me that monday early morning the street light current was cut and it was dark. Police does not note these points. They also are acting very pally while taking down statements of maid and her husband and construction workers (laughing and joking in kannada about why they didnt hear anything last night) despite me telling em that all these guys including the occasional newspaper bill wala have seen my house inside and maybe suspects.

Now the inspector walks in to the scene of crime and tries scribbling some notes, mostly my name, age, where I work and the address of the house. Then stops and goes through the report made by the sub-inspector. He advises me that I should leave my maid and her husband in my house for security sake whenever I go out. Says that he will send fingerprint specialists asap and takes off.

Its now 830pm and the remaining cops are getting frustrated hanging around, slowly they start disappearing and ask me to go grab some food and leave keys with construction worker. I indicate that I will wait for and fingerprint guys and my friend will get some meal for me. They take two witness signatures from upstairs guys who also come back on monday aftermoon before i came back. The police guys all push off indicating that specialists will be here soon.

I later learn that there was on first floor there was one neighbour who was around during diwali, but they are bpo bachelors and come daily at 1130 and leave at 5am. So thief has struck between this time. Also learn that another neighbour on 2nd floor came back 4am in morning. So now I know why thieves left the amp, sub and centre speaker back along with carefully picked out remote controls for devices they were stealing. They were interrupted at 4am and 5am, by people coming in and going out the house.
Also I feel it is more than one thief, as its very difficult to throw out stuff the high bathroom window, easier to pass it to an accomplice waiting outside.

Anurag911 finally walks into my place at 11pm with some munch from KFC and we sit and eat in one corner without touching anything, still waiting for the fingerprint specialists. Finally I call the cops and they say the fingerprint guy is on his way. At 1230 two cops on a luna along with a jeep full of "fingerprint specialists" walk in. They now ask me things like where I work and how much do I earn. I say where I work and ask how does my pay matter. Fake a small number and then answer that the stuff is worth 1.5 lacs. They look at me and say think twice before you say the estimated value, electronics depreciate and crap, to which I answer I have paid for it all through my nose and still repaying credit cards.

The experts then open their "investigation bag" and take out silver dust and start dusting the cupboard, a black cellphone box full of fingerprints, which was opened is dusted and discarded (reason unknown). Now they use their own ungloved hands to open cupboard and say paint is not right for fingerprints and also too much dust boss. I tell em to come to the hall where major stuff has been stolen, to which they quip, whatever has been touched has been stolen!! One guy seems to be strumming the guitar in my cupboard with his bare hands, another possible source of fingerprints ruined.

Finally I tell em to analyse the silver amp, to which they say no boss our powder is silver color so we can take finger prints off the amp. I point to the black screen of amp which has 2 fingerprints on it, but no they say its too oily oily . The black tv trolley where the electronics were picked from - no too dusty the other cupboard, a laptop bag, no boss all useless and dusty!! The bathroom grill - no boss that is where we came in from so all fingerprints mixed.

According to anurag911, these "experts" were also kinda drunk!! 9-10 mins later, they say we have no fingerprints, but dont worry we will catch them and get all your stuff back and walk out. They disappear so soon in their jeep and luna (waving away), that I dont even get a chance to ask em what are the next steps. We lock the doors of bathroom and lock the house and drive off to airport for some coffee. Fifth gear at a speed of 30kmph, I was really driving like a guy who lost all the gadgets he had assembled over 2 years of international trips. Cursing myself for not getting the zicon and theft insurance in time. We have coffee, come back home and anurag911 pushes off.

Come morning, I have lost all hope on the amazing police and their team of trained specialists. Inspect the outside of house to see if thief has hidden any of the loot around (yeah right), get the house cleaned by maid and now sit typing this experience.

If you have read this far, thank you for bearing with me and make sure you get a theft insurance and possibly some home security stuff asap. Don't depend on our bangy police to solve cases like they do in CSI :-)
Also I will be grateful, if someone has the power and can pull some strings in police and get them to interview and question the neighbours who were here during diwali, construction workers, maid family, etc As of now the police seemed to have done 'just' enough, so that I don't complain on them being not helpful, but I am sure much more could have been done.

Back to starting life all over again.
Thanks,
j
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:02   #2
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No hope for cops in India. :(
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:02   #3
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J - I am sorry about your loss. I don't want to make a sweeping statement about our pathetic police situation (esp in Bangy) but I am dying to.

I won't give you false hope, you prolly won't get any of your gadgets back. But be happy you didn't lose anything worse. And smile, thinking you will be able to buy new ones someday.

Good Luck.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:10   #4
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hey jassi... really unfortunate there inspite of the precautions you took. Not too sure if the police would be able to retrieve any of your stuff but lets hope for the best...
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:16   #5
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Sorry to hear this Jassi. Very unfortunate incident.

My advise to you is not to have too much of hope on the cops but at the same time, please visit the police station when you are called for as I have heard of many cases where people have found atleast half of what they lost when the culprits are caught. Do not bribe the cops for whatever reason.

In fact, my dad's mobile was stolen a few months and we promptly received a call when a gang of mobile thieves were caught with a booty of around 70-80 mobile phones. We did find a phone of the same model but the Serial Number did not match.

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Back to starting life all over again.
I can understand what you are going through buddy. But cheer up, I am hopeful that there are better things in store for you. Good Luck buddy!!
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:30   #6
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Sorry about your loss Jassi.. forget all that stolen stuff and do not expect any of those gadgets back.. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cops have already nabbed the guys and taken their share from the loot.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:31   #7
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hi jassi...sorry to hear about the burglary. I hope you get you stuff back. All the best.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:36   #8
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Sorry abt this turn of events, Jassi. I stay in an independant house and whenever I leave town, I've made it a point to hire private security round-the-clock, sourced from my office's security detail. And so far its helped keep my house unviolated.

Leaving a house unguarded or guarded by incompetent personnel are both not advisible and equally dangerous.

I suspect the cops are in the know of the thieves. Some nice political/top-police pressure will yield amazing results.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:41   #9
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Hey Jassi...Cheerup. One hope is you may find some of your stuff in the Shivajinagar market where they sell in second had electronic goods. I'am not sure when and where these market is usually it will be on sundays (I hope). Hope other members may pitch in some of the details of that sunday market. But be prepared in your mind that you have lost all those gadgets. I read this in today's newspaper (TOI-3rd page). I did not know it was your house. Donot expect much from Cops. Hope you have not paid mamool to them. BTW did you inform your neighbours to have a look at house (just keep watching of any untoward incident)while you are away ? This is just a precaution we do while we are out for about a week or so.

Feel sorry for whatever has happened.You can buy all those gadgets maybe better one some day.

Last edited by snaronikar : 13th November 2007 at 11:01.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:47   #10
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Sorry to hear that Jassi.

My neighbours house got burgled few months back, ironically they had someone guarding it and they were away in the US.

Saw a lot of police activity, dog squads etc but no clue on the recovery. But one thing was common, lots of street dogs were barking in the early morning before the day it was found robbed.

Best thing if you have a lot of investments/ gadgets in the house is to get a household insurance. its cheap and doesnt cost much of premium.

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Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
Sorry abt this turn of events, Jassi. I stay in an independant house and whenever I leave town, I've made it a point to hire private security round-the-clock, sourced from my office's security detail. And so far its helped keep my house unviolated.

Leaving a house unguarded or guarded by incompetent personnel are both not advisible and equally dangerous.

I suspect the cops are in the know of the thieves. Some nice political/top-police pressure will yield amazing results.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:51   #11
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What a terrible sight to come home too. I know how it feels as I too have been at the receiving end of a robbery, twice - once in the house and once in our car. Nothing worse than the feeling of someone having violated your personal space and taken something of yours!

As mentioned, the chances of the police finding your stuff is slim to none. The only thing to do is learn from this, secure the home better and look towards the latest gadgets!
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:51   #12
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Originally Posted by jassi View Post
Come morning, I have lost all hope on the amazing police and their team of trained specialists. Inspect the outside of house to see if thief has hidden any of the loot around (yeah right), get the house cleaned by maid and now sit typing this experience.
Very unfortunate experience right after Diwali.
Don't worry about the cops and the 'fingerprint experts'. All the cops know who the regular thieves and know when and what they stole. They do not need fingerprints to identify these thieves. If there is a new thief, then it means cops couldn't and probably wouldn't catch him. Fingerprints are again a moot point in this scenario.

The next step for you, IMO, is to find someone who has contacts with police higher ups. Some commissioner or DSP and narrate your case. He in turn would put pressure on the inspector and in a couple of days the inspector will turn up with some electronic items that they recovered in the past few days. They may not necessarily be yours but cops will give it to you anyway. I think that is your best shot at recovering atleast half of what you lost.

A thief once stole a gold chain from my neighbor. Her husband works for the CM so within 15 days the cops have replaced her 20 gm gold chain with a 15 gm chain of different design and insisted that it was the same one that she lost.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:53   #13
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Red face

Thanks a lot for the concern and advise guys !!

nah i don't think there is anything in toi about my house - maybe they put only jewelry and money robberies there and not electronics. Don't really know also how these articles on robberies come to the light of toi and all.

I am trying to now get my bathroom grill fixed and then maybe get a copy of FIR from the police station.

I am sure over the next few years I will buy again the years of gadgets now lost. I don't have much hope on the police, but it does make sense to have some private security guys posted when one is away and also obviously have some insurance and anti-theft devices. Mostly I will shift out to some gated community in the next few days!! Lets see how it goes.
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:53   #14
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sorry to hear abt ur loss jassi.
A very strong case for me to get zicom installed b4 i leave for 1 month vacation next april.

Regards,
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Old 13th November 2007, 10:58   #15
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lots of street dogs were barking in the early morning before the day it was found robbed.

So from next time if the dog start barking early morning, its confirmed that there is a roberry happening, just kidding...


Sorry about that incident Jassi, its such a bad feeling that one needs more time to come out of it.
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