(G.N.S) Dt. 05
Cases of theft by domestic helps and other household employees may have reduced during the first 11 months of last year, but that is no solace for Bengalureans. For, detection in such cases continues to be woefully poor, according to police records. Only 81 of the 219 cases of theft by helps were cracked during 2017. The corresponding numbers were 78 and 222 in 2016 and 88 and 228 in 2015.
In a high-profile case of theft by domestic helps reported last year, valuables worth Rs 1 crore were stolen from the house of the CEO of a top e-commerce company. In his complaint, Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan said when he returned to his Lavelle Road home after a trip, he found that jewellery, diamond/silver articles and other valuables were missing from the locker.
During investigation, fingerprints of one of the maids were found on the locker. She was questioned, and confessed to have committed the crime in collusion with her lover, who was earlier employed as a driver with Narayanan. The duo was arrested. Unlike other cases where police are not able to recover the entire stolen property, sleuths managed to retrieve all the ornaments.
However, not everyone is as lucky as Narayanan. Sumitra (name changed) a homemaker from east Bengaluru, has been waiting for months for police to nab her maid from Nepal who fled with gold ornaments worth Rs 3 lakh. According to investigators, she has not left behind any trail. Sumitra had never bothered to ask for her Nepal address.
Police officers attribute poor detection in such cases to the fact that most of these workers are migrants from distant places in north and northeast India and even Nepal and Bangladesh. Employers too don’t take adequate precautions like getting their antecedents verified. Besides, there is no mechanism to monitor domestic helps like giving them IDs, they said.
Police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said: “If the accused is a local, then we have no problem in tracing him/her. But tracking down runaway helps from distant places in north or northeast India is difficult. They may not have provided proper addresses to their employers,” he said.
Kumar, however, attributed the drop in the number of theft cases to police verification. “But not many households are approaching police for verification of their employees’ antecedents,” he said. The biggest problem in cracking such cases is that many culprits flee the country through its porous borders with Nepal and Bangladesh, said another officer.
(G.N.S) Dt. 05