At least three unidentified people broke into a jewellery showroom in southeast Delhi's Bhogal area, made a hole in strong room and decamped with ornaments worth more than Rs 20 crore, the police said on Tuesday.
This is one of the biggest burglaries reported in the national capital.
The shop, Umrao Singh Jewellers, had several CCTV cameras but they were damaged around midnight on Sunday, the police said.
"Police teams reached the spot after we got information on Tuesday at 10.55 am from the shop owner. We have started an investigation into the matter," said Rajesh Deo, deputy commissioner of police (Southeast).
The incident is expected to have occurred between Sunday night and Monday, police said, adding the store remains closed on Monday.
"The owner closed the shop on Sunday around 8 pm and when he opened it on Tuesday around 10.30 am, he got to know about the incident. There is a safe situated on the ground floor in the shop having a heavy metallic gate and walls on three sides. The dealing with customers takes place on the ground floor of the showroom while its upper three floors are used for stock and repair works.
"When the owner opened the shop, he found that the concrete wall of the safe room has been damaged. The accused made a whole on one side of the wall having dimension of around one to one-and-half foot. Forensic team was called at the spot. The safe will be opened to ascertain the amount of the jewellery stolen," Deo said.
"Our forensic teams are checking footage captured by CCTV cameras before their wires were cut by the burglars. The accused will be nabbed soon," the official said.
The shop owner has reported a theft of 30 kg gold jewellery and Rs 5 lakh cash, the DCP said.
A case has been registered at Hazrat Nizamuddin police station and several teams have been constituted to work out the case, he added.
Mahavir Prasad Jain, the shop owner, said that his showroom was around 75 years old.
"Nothing like this happened before. There are six to seven workers in our shop and all are trusted employees. They have been working for the last 20 years. The showroom remains closed on Monday. We locked it on Sunday around 8 pm, opened the shop around 10.30 am on Tuesday and got to know about the burglary.
"There was around Rs 20 crore worth gold and diamond jewellery which was found missing. All six CCTV cameras inside the showroom were found to be unplugged," Jain said.
The shop has no guard and a common guard of the market gives security during the night hours, he said.
Duler Jain, a relative of the victim, said that the accused came from the terrace. "They broke the lock on the terrace and came downstairs. They took the jewellery from the strong room with them. They also cut the wires of WiFi and CCTV cameras," he said.
Sources said that the incident took place between 11.30 pm and 12 am on Sunday. The preliminary investigation has suggested that there were at least three people involved in the incident.
The routes of the accused are being ascertained, police said.
Ravinder Taneja, the owner of a nearby building from where it is being suspected that the thieves reached the shop's terrace, said, "It has a shop on the ground floor while a tuition class is run on the first floor. A person from Kashmir lives on the second floor who comes to the city during winters. The upper floor is vacant."
"As it is a residential building, no one locks its main entrance," Tanjea said.
Dilip, who sells slippers near the showroom, said that nobody knew about the incident till Tuesday morning when the owner opened it and found the store burgled.
Ravi, who runs an electronic shop in the area, said it seems that the accused knew about the showroom very well. "The way the burglary has taken place, the thieves must have done some recce before," he said.