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New Delhi: With the arrest of a man and his wife, police today claimed to have busted a network of alleged burglars who would work at houses as domestic helps and decamp with valuables.

Police also recovered the stolen items including diamond jewelery and electrical appliances worth over Rs 80 lakh from the couple, who were arrested yesterday.

The couple identified as Vijay (43) and Manisha Singh (35) told police that since 2005 they had opened and closed various placement agencies with their first ever venture named 'Kalka Maid Services' at Kilokari in Ashram.

"Manisha, who would go as the maid, would flee with the expensive jewellery and cash from the houses of the employers.

After every planned and good heist, they would return to their native place in Odisha and lay low for some time," a senior police officer said.

It is also suspected that they recruited thieves who would go to houses posing as maids and then decamp with valuables.

After returning to Delhi, the couple would recruit new people, the official said adding that this aspect is being investigated.

The duo would scout for the local security guards, car-washers etc who form the underbelly of affluent localities and soon, would gain knowledge about people who were looking for maids, DCP(South) Ishwar Singh said.

Following the same modus operandi, in August 2016, they had committed a theft in northwest Delhi's Ashok Vihar area and have told police that they had committed similar thefts in Faridabad also.

On March 19, Nishu Tripathi, a resident of Vasant Kunj, filed a police complaint alleging that jewelery worth Rs 50 lakh had been stolen from her residence.

"While the couple was out, the burglary had taken place.

They had hired a maid named Manisha. After the incident the maid went missing," Singh said.

Manisha had got to know that Tripathi was looking for a domestic help.

After getting to know that Tripathi's husband is a diamond trader, Manisha offered to work at her residence and within a day of being employed, decamped with the valuables, he said.

The employer had not insisted upon police verification which made the accused's task easy.

The investigators traced Manisha's cell phone number which was switched off but an analysis of the call records showed that she used to visit a particular area and another maid, who knew Manisha was found there.

The maid said that she knew the accused, but didn't have any more details about her as they were acquaintances.

It was learned that Manisha had come to Delhi a couple of months back. A investigation of some placement agencies revealed that over the past few months, many such agencies had opened and shut shops after being functioning for a short period.

A search of these "closed" placement agencies revealed that most of them were being run by same persons. The phone numbers that were used by the agencies were found to to have belonged to the same persons.

The husband and wife were arrested from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station while they were about to leave Delhi, the DCP said.

The accused were produced in Patiala House Court today which remanded them in 14 days judicial custody.

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