Indian man arrested after theft of thousands of toothpaste tubes

Man confesses to stealing stock worth 1 million rupees from warehouse where he worked

Thousands of tubes of toothpaste similar to the ones pictured were stolen from a warehouse in India. Getty
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Indian police have arrested a man after tens of thousands of toothpaste tubes were stolen from the Delhi warehouse where he worked.

Santosh, whose family name is not known, was arrested at his home in Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh. Police said he was in possession of stolen goods believed to be worth around 1 million rupees ($44,956).

The 23-year-old was arrested after police received a complaint from Kunwarpal Singh, the owner of the warehouse in the capital's Lahori Gate area.

Mr Singh told police that 215 boxes filled with more than 23,000 toothpaste tubes were stolen from the depot on last Tuesday, along with a mobile phone.

Investigators analysed footage from 40 surveillance cameras.

“With the help of CCTV cameras and technical surveillance, the accused was identified,” Sagar Singh Kalsi, a leading Delhi police officer, said in a statement.

Police said they raided Santosh’s house in Bahraich last Friday and recovered 23,400 tubes of toothpaste and the missing phone.

Investigators said Santosh admitted deceiving a tea-stall owner who looked after the warehouse keys, pretending he was delivering a new batch of toothpaste, then stealing the keys.

He then stole the boxes and loaded them into rickshaws to reach the nearby interstate station, from where he took a bus to his hometown.

“He told us that, with time, he won over the trust of his employer and made a plan to steal the stock toothpaste,” Mr Kalsi said. "He was well aware that the owner often leaves the keys of the [warehouse] with someone who runs a stall nearby.

“He had kept the stolen articles in a room near his house in the native village and was planning to sell the same at wholesale or retail prices to make easy money.”

Updated: November 29, 2022, 9:42 AM