Wednesday, 24 February, 2021

A thief of Bouddha area manages to steal 80 tolas of gold in 10 months


By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Jan. 18: Locals in the Bouddha area of ​​Kathmandu have not been able to leave their homes for the past 10 months, fearing thieves.
The situation was such that if they happened to leave their houses just for an hour, all jewelries kept in their house would be stolen. Even the Bouddha police was tense because of the repeated robbery.
Metropolitan Police Circle, Bouddha, had been receiving complaints almost every day that the police could do nothing to control theft.
More than 30 incidents of theft have been reported in the last 10 months, according to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nabin Karki.
Policemen were mobilised day and night to search for thieves involved in the theft but in vain.
On January 5, a burglary took place in the house of Khil Bahadur Gurung, just behind the Buddha monastery. Approximately five tolas of gold jewelry along with Rs. 29,000 cash was stolen from Gurung’s rented room, said DSP Karki.
After the burglary at Gurung’s room, police were able to find the clue about the persons involved in it. Two days after Gurung’s house was broken into, the Bouddha police arrested seven persons, including the mastermind behind the serial theft cases.
The arrested are Sonam Lama, 27, of Jhapa, Sanam Majhi, 25, Bijay Limbu, 23, Sanjeev Tamang, 37, of Sindhupalchowk, Santosh BK, 32, of Bhojpur, Surya Bahadur Shrestha and Yuba Raj Balu Babara.
Babara, who hails from India, has been running a gold and silver testing centre called Ganesh Touch Centre in Jorpati, Gokarneshwar Municipality-6, Kathmandu. Stolen gold jewelries used to be sold from the shop of Babara.
According to DSP Karki, police investigation showed that Sonam Lama was the mastermind behind all the incidents.
Interestingly, Lama used to wear a yellow jacket while he came out to steal jewelries. Sonam, who has been living in Kathmandu for the last 13 years, has an amazing style of stealing, police said.
“Sonam always wears the same yellow jacket and rides yellow scooter while heading to do his job--stealing,” he said.
Sonam has already confessed with the police that he broke into nine houses, mostly alone. “I used to do reiki of the possible homes when there was no one in them before breaking into,” the police quoted him as saying.
After completing his job, he used to wear clothes of another colour, kept in the scooter’s carrier.
The number of the scooter used by Sonam is 02-020 Pa 6610. The actual number of the scooter is, however, 02-020P 6611 of Bagmati Province.
He used to change the last digit of the scooter number as 02-020P 6610 while he was in his stealing job.
Sonam told the police that he used the jacket and scooter of the same colour to steal jewelries only to escape public attention and police, according to the police.
When Lama came out after stealing from Gurung’s room on January 5, Lama’s face and the scooter used by him were seen on a CCTV camera near Gurung’s house.
The CCTV footage outside a restaurant near Gurung’s house showed the thief on a yellow scooter. The camera clearly showed the scooter number as 02-20-6610 of Bagmati Province.
Bouddha police then began searching for the scooter. The scooter bearing number seen on CCTV belonged to another person and the police became sure that the thief was using a fake number on his scooter.
Police began searching for additional number having the same number plate of the scooter. Police also searched scooters having number plate 6611 and 6612 of 02-020 lot in Bagmati Province.
Despite getting information from the traffic management office, the police seemed to match the suspect. During the search, police found 6611 yellow scooter of 02-020 lot in Swoyambhu.
The man on the yellow scooter matched the scene on CCTV with his yellow jacket as well.
Although the person was identified, police did not arrest him immediately from Swoyambhu. Instead, they decided to follow him until he reached another location. The scooter went to another place near Swoyambhu.
The place this time he visited was not a destination to steal but a place for drug traffickers and abusers. Police also confirmed that Lama was also a drug addict.
Police chased the scooter and arrested four people, including Sonam Lama, Sanjeev Tamang, Sanam Majhi and Bijay Limbu from the Swoyambhu area.
Police arrested four drug dealers with 26 grams of brown sugar while they were to arrest the thief. However, the Bouddha police were searching for the person involved in the theft.
While interrogating the arrested persons, it was revealed that Sonam was the main person involved in the daytime theft. Police have arrested three others from the Boudha area on the basis of Sonam’s statement.
According to DSP Karki, Sonam is the person involved in the theft of 22 tolas of gold jewelries, Rs. 300,000 in cash and Seiko Five watch worth Rs. 120,000 from a house in Gokarneshwor Municipality on November 18.
According to Bouddha police, Sonam Lama is a Tibetan refugee living in India. However, Sonam has said that he has already taken citizenship from Jhapa. However, police have not yet found his citizenship certificate of Nepal.
Sonam, has confessed to stealing 80 tolas of gold from different areas.
However, police have seized only 60 tolas of gold, 5 kg 28 grams of silver and some items worth more than Rs. 100,000 from Sonam. Police estimate that Sonam may have sold the remaining 20 tolas of gold.
He was arrested on drug charges before Dashain festival and was released on bail soon after Tihar festival. Police suspect that he might have increased his theft business after that.
Sonam has no other legal profession or business. However, he was living a luxurious life. Sonam, who has been living with his wife in Arubari, Kathmandu, has bought expensive furniture, pricey liquor and decorative items for his rented room. 

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