Gujarat : Surat woman reunited with stolen chain after 18 years

Anjana Patel had purchased the gold chain just a few months before the floods, valued at Rs 12,000 at the time—at present the gold chain is valued at Rs 1.20 lakh. Unlike many who lost their belongings in the deluge, Patel's loss was due to a separate act of crime.  She promptly reported the theft to the police and a case was registered. The good news came fast - the thief was apprehended within days, and the stolen chain was recovered.


Surat :Anjana Hasmukh Patel, a resident of Surat, has finally been reunited with her gold chain, snatched away by a thief amidst the chaos of the city’s catastrophic floods 18 years ago. Patel, residing in Dhruvtarak society on Ved Road, fell victim to a thief’s opportunism during the 2006 floods, losing her 20-gram gold chain, then valued at Rs 12,000, now appraised at Rs 1.20 lakh.

Unlike many who suffered losses during the calamity, Patel’s ordeal stemmed from a separate criminal act. Swiftly reporting the theft to the authorities, Patel saw quick progress as the thief was apprehended, and her stolen chain was recovered promptly. However, the wheels of bureaucracy ground slowly thereafter. Though the thief faced justice, Patel’s gold chain became ensnared in legal proceedings, held as evidence in the Chowk Bazaar police station’s locker.

The turning point arrived in 2022 when the Surat court ruled in favor of returning the gold chain to its rightful owner. Yet, it took an additional year for Patel to reclaim her long-lost possession. On a recent Tuesday, the Chowk Bazaar police contacted Patel, urging her to visit the station. To her delight, Patel was handed her gold chain after nearly two decades.

VV Vagadia, the police inspector of Chowk Bazaar, cited “technical reasons” for the delay, which hindered Patel from retrieving her property sooner. A recent audit of pending evidence in the station’s locker led to the rediscovery of the chain. Subsequently, the police retrieved the court order online and facilitated the return of the gold chain to Patel.

Expressing her relief and gratitude, Patel remarked, “I never lost hope of seeing my chain again. It serves as a reminder of a challenging period, but also underscores the perseverance of the police and the significance of adhering to legal procedures. It feels surreal to have it back after all these years.”