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Mrunal Manmay Dash

A gang of seasoned shoplifters cleaned up the cash box at a grocery shop at Jayakishan Market in Unit-3 area of Bhubaneswar in a unique way that took everyone by surprise.

As per reports, a member of the gang, posing as a customer, went to the grocery shop belonging to Ranjan Kumar Rout on Wednesday. When he handed over Rout a Rs 2000 note for a small bottle of shampoo priced Rs 170, the latter refused to accept the big bill. Instead, Rout asked him to give a note of smaller denomination. The customer then went away.

Thereafter, two other members of the gang (one young, the other, an elderly person), pretending to be customers went to Rout’s shop. They wanted a packet of ‘Horlicks;.

The customer paid the amount, took the Horlicks packet and went away.

Meanwhile, the elderly customer pointed out to Rout that the customer had given a torn currency note. He asked Rout to chase the customer down before he left the area. Rout did accordingly and went out in search of the customer.

The thieves were waiting for the opportunity. Finding Rout away from the shop, other member of the gang who were hiding in the vicinity, entered the shop and cleaned the cash box containing Rs 6,000 before making good their escape.

Describing the incident, Rout said, “I did not want to chase that youth who ran away after giving me a torn currency note. However, when the old man insisted, I couldn’t help. ”

It took some time for Rout that he had been tricked by the gang into leaving the cash box to their mercy.”The gang worked smartly. They took away more than Rs 6000 cash which was lying in the cash box,” Rout said.

A similar kind of loot was reported from Nayapalli area in Bhubaneswar just four days ago when a medicine store was robbed of Rs 50,000 in a similar modus operandi by unidentified looters.

Initially, one of the robbers in the guise of customer arrived at the scene on the pretext of buying some items. Moments later, another robber, posing as customer, turned up at the shop and asked for a packet of Horlicks.

After inquiring about the product’s MRP, the second robber handed over some cash and went away with the Horlicks packet. Soon after realising that the customer had given less money for the product, the shopkeeper stepped out of the shop along with the first robber who was present at the spot.

Taking advantage of the absence of the shopkeeper, a third robber entered the scene and decamped with the money from the cash counter.

In both the cases the miscreants used purchase of Horlicks packets a pretext to loot the shops.

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