Heist story: How Hyderabad police nabbed jewel thief wished since ’13

HYDERABAD: Catching ‘jewel thief’ Jayesh Ravji Sejpal proved to be a herculean task for Hyderabad cops. The seasoned criminal took enough precautions to cover his tracks, not obtaining an card and used a SIM card obtained with fake ID proof. Cops even grilled Jayesh’s long-time partner-in-crime , also a wanted criminal in other states, but he too did not know the whereabouts of his former associate.

After receiving a complaint from Venkat, a newly-married businessman from Himayatnagar, whose wife’s jewellery was stolen from their Park Hyatt Hotel room by Jayesh, cops tried to track his movement in the city through camera footage and cell phone records.

Soon, police realised that Jayesh, who was seen talking over phone in the hotel lobby, was only pretending to do so. “His phone was off,” an investigator from police station said.

Cops then verified CCTV footage in the city and realised that Jayesh had boarded a green auto near the hotel and went towards Masab Tank. Further analysis of the footage revealed that Jayesh disembarked at Rajdhani Lodge, Nampally.

Police team checked with the lodge staff and found that the thief had given a photocopy of a bank passbook as address proof and the receptionist recorded his address in Mumbai, and Kandivali, as the name of the customer. Jayesh also gave a wrong phone number to the lodge staff.

After the theft, Jayesh stayed at the lodge for two days and only after seeing his photograph in newspapers, returned to Mumbai. “Jayesh boarded a VRL Travels bus at Afzalgunj and went to Mumbai. He paid for the ticket in cash,” a police official said.

With teams in Mumbai not able to find Jayesh at addresses police managed to obtain from previous investigations, cops searched the databases of Aadhaar and PAN. Aadhaar database did not return any hits, but PAN database gave the much-needed lead.

Police discovered that the cell phone number linked to the bank account was not being used by Jayesh any more, but subsequent technical investigation with the available data led them to his Thane hideout. Police also realised that Jayesh was moving between Vapi in Gujarat and Thane in Maharashtra frequently.

Jayesh, a class 10 drop-out, speaks Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi and English fluently. Police said Jayesh acquired the behaviour and dressing skills to fool star hotel staff from his experience of working at hotels in Mumbai and Gujarat in his teenage and early twenties.

“A day before committing the heist at Park Hyatt, Jayesh made a bid at Trident Hotel at Madhapur. However, Jayesh could not find any valuables there and since there was no loss of property, a complaint was not lodged. We will produce the culprit before the court on Wednesday. We will initiate proceedings against Jayesh to book him under the PD Act,” deputy commissioner of police (DCP), West Zone, A told TOI.

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