NEW DELHI: A 53-year-old man from Gurugram has been arrested for allegedly stealing a replica of the ancient Olduvai Handaxe from the National Museum. The replica has been missing from the National Museum since June 24.
Uday Ratra, who is currently unemployed, was arrested from his home late last night. Police said that museum authorities tried to find the item on their own initially, but when they couldn't make any headway, they approached the authorities with a complaint on Friday.
They also gave the CCTV footage to the police in which the man can be seen lifting the object and taking it out of the museum premises. Police studied the CCTV footage and identified the accused. He was nabbed from his house in Gurugram. The replica was also recovered from his residence.
That’s how, the ‘Olduvai Handaxe’ theft from National Museum got detected and accused identified. CCTV cameras are of great help both in crime prevention and crime detection. pic.twitter.com/xwkPl9hyFA
— Madhur Verma (@IPSMadhurVerma) July 14, 2018
The CCTV footage was tweeted out by Madhur Verma, DCP New Delhi. "‘Olduvai Handaxe’ replica got stolen from National Museum. Team of Police station South Avenue, New Delhi arrested the accused Uday Ratra and recovered the stolen Olduvai Handaxe from his possession. Olduvai Handaxe is the first great invention of mankind 1.5 million years ago," the DCP tweeted.
Ratra had earlier been arrested in 2016 for allegedly trying to enter a five-star hotel in Sarojini Nagar with a blade while the then US secretary of state John Kerry was staying there. He was also arrested for stealing imported liquor from a store the same year, police said.
His father has earlier served the Coast Guard as an inspector general. An officer said that it is suspected that Ratra is a kleptomaniac.