Vikash Sharma

Behaviour can be deceptive. 82-year-old Sujata Mohanty of Bhubaneswar learnt it the hard way after the caretaker roped in by her was arrested for stealing gold ornaments from her house. The accused caretaker has been identified as Tapas Nayak alias Subhan.

Tapas was no less than a grandson for Mohanty, who had sought his services to look after the needs of her 110-year-old father-in-law. Mohanty’s husband had died some days back. As Mohanty’s son is staying outside, she had engaged Tapas to take care of her father-in-law who stays with her for around two months now.

The caretaker was working very well at Mohanty’s house and gained her trust as well. However, Tapas had his eyes on the gold ornaments at the elderly woman’s house. It was in the month of August that Tapas allegedly took away the gold ornaments weighing 35 grams.

Mohanty subsequently lodged a complaint at Khandagiri police station in November after she could not find the ornaments.

“I had kept my ornaments in bank while only some ornaments were at house. When I searched for a gold chain, I could not locate it. Tapas was a good youth and I think it was his first theft. My elder son stays in Delhi and my younger son is also staying with his family in the city at another place. Tapas was staying with us for the last two months,” said Mohanty adding that he used to assist her in all works.

ACP Pradip Rout said that an investigation was launched after the elderly woman lodged a complaint in connection with the incident.

“Tapas was working at the elderly woman’s house from 2021 as a caretaker. However, he had left the job in 2022, but visited the complainant’s house in the month of July 2023 and started working again. As both the elderly persons were staying alone, they allowed Tapas to resume work. In August, Tapas went absconding without informing anyone. Later, the complainant found some ornaments missing and lodged a case. On getting information, we tracked the caretaker’s location and arrested him yesterday (November 5). We have recovered the gold ornaments from his possession,” said Rout.

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