Bengaluru, Mar 3, 2017, DHNS:
Suspect ‘stole’ 151 laptops, 6 cameras, 5 cameras, 4 iPods from homes
Sumeer Sharma (31), a hotel management graduate, took to stealing after meeting one Arun Pathak in 2015 through a common friend. Pathak, who hails from Rajasthan and is a student at Al-Ameen College in the city, has a criminal record.
He coached Sharma in lifting laptops, iPods, tablets, digital cameras and the like, police said. Sharma hails from Jalandhar, Punjab, and had moved to Bengaluru in 2009 for higher studies. Taking cue from Pathak, Sharma decided to target paying guest digs and apartments in Koramangala, HSR Layout, Madiwala, Mico Layout and Adugodi — localities with a large population of students and IT professionals, police said.
His modus operandi was as follows: using his English and Hindi language skills, he would chat up security guards at apartments and bluff them into letting him in. Once inside the residential complex, he would look out for locked flats. He would then break into the house, lift whatever electronic machine he could lay his hands on and run away.
Sharma opened a store named SR (Sumeer Rajeshwari) Computers on 4th main road at Kalidasanagar, Hosakerehalli, to sell off the stolen goods. He also sold off some laptops at shops in Coimbatore, Chennai, and on SP Road and JC Road in Bengaluru.
His wife, Rajeshwari, whom he had met when she was studying to be an air hostess, was his partner in crime. She kept a diary and made an entry on each gadget stolen by her husband and the customer who had bought it. Police believe Sharma stole 151 laptops, five cameras, four iPods and six tablets, all valued at Rs 72 lakh.
Police investigation into the thefts began following a spurt in the crimes in southeastern Bengaluru. The breakthrough came when a stolen gadget, being tracked by police, was activated in Chennai. When police tracked down the user, he said he had bought it from Sharma and gave them his contact details. Police raided Sharma’s house in Banashankari 3rd Stage and stumbled upon Rajeshwari’s tell-all diary.
“While checking the complaints, we noticed that thefts had taken place between noon and 4 pm. There was a three-day gap between every two thefts. Luckily, Sharma’s movement was captured by a CCTV camera at an apartment which also helped us crack the case,” an investigating officer said.