A 44-year-old jeweller from Bhandup was robbed of 1.05 kg gold jewellery and Rs1.5 lakh cash from near Panvel railway station on Tuesday night.
The unidentified culprits fled the spot after the robbery, leaving behind their two-wheeler. They also fired in the air when the victim and some autorickshaw drivers tried to chase them.
According to the police, Arvind Punmiya came to Panvel for taking orders from the local jewellers with some sample jewellery in his bag. After finishing his work, he was returning home with the jewellery and cash around 9.45pm when the incident happened.
“Punmiya was about to reach the platform, when he got surrounded by three unidentified persons who came on a two-wheeler outside the station premises. They asked him to submit the bag containing the jewellery and the cash, flashing a revolver and a chopper.
When the victim refused to act accordingly, they threw chilli powder in his eyes and then snatched the bag,” said SB Suryavanshi, assistant commissioner of police.
As Punmiya started shouting for help, a few autorickshaw drivers came forward to get hold of the culprits. “The culprits did not get a chance to start their two-wheeler and fled the spot leaving behind the vehicle. When the victim and the drivers followed them, they fired in the air to scare them and ran away,” he said.
There was no CCTV camera installed at the spot where the robbery took place. “We have seized the two-wheeler abandoned by the culprits. This two-wheeler has also been used for chain snatching in Thane around a month ago. However, the registration number of the two-wheeler is fake,” said Dattatray Patil, senior police inspector from Panvel city police station.
The police also recovered an empty cartridge near the spot, on Tuesday night. “We have registered a case under sections 392, 397, 341 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 3(25), 37(1) (a) and 135 of the Arms Act against the culprits. According to the victim, all three culprits were aged between 30 and 35,” Patil said.
“Our investigations are on and we hope to get hold of the culprits within a short span of time. We think they knew about the jewellery as the victim comes to Panvel often. They had been probably looking for a chance to rob him since many days,” another police officer from Panvel police station said.