INDORE: A 16-year-old Indore girl’s crime of desperation had an effect she never expected. She stole a phone and mortgaged it so that she could pay her school fees, but her victim, a private detective, easily tracked her down. After realizing why the girl stole his phone, the man decided not to go to police and gave her the money for her fees.
The girl got 71% in her Class 11 exams and was keen to study, but her family couldn’t spare the money for next session’s school fees, said Dheeraj Dubey, who owns a detective agency.
His cellphone, an expensive one, was stolen on August 2. He says he gave an application to Dwarkapuri police station about the theft but they couldn’t get any leads. “I decided to investigate it myself,” said Dubey.
After retracing his movements of that day, he realized that the phone must have been stolen from his home. He made a list of people who had come to his house that day and zeroed in one a woman who had come with her schoolgoing daughter. With a little bit of digging, he found that her husband hadn’t been keeping well, and his medical expenses had drained whatever meagre savings they had.
‘The girl was trembling’
He also discovered that the teenager was a good student and was desperate to complete her Class 12.
“I spoke to her, gently. She said she had scored 71% and wanted to study. But she was trembling and couldn’t make eye contact with me,” the detective said.
He asked her if she had stolen his phone, and if he should speak to her father about it. She broke into tears and admitted to the theft.
“She said she had mortgaged it for Rs 2,500 with the help of a friend so that she could pay her school fee. As proof, she showed me a receipt of Rs1,600 for her Class 12 exam fee.
She said she hadn’t sold it because she planned to retrieve it when she got a job and return it to me. I was moved,” said Dubey.
He paid Rs 2,500 and got his mobile back but decided not to file a complaint against the schoolgirl. He even paid the rest of her fees.
After some people came to know of it, they also came forward to help the girl. A doctor and a teacher, who asked not to be identified, have promised to sponsor her education from here on.
TOI spoke to the girl’s mother, who said her daughter has always been keen to study, unlike her elder daughter and son.
“As soon as she finishes helping me, she runs back to her books. She was desperate to remain in school but we are going through very hard times.”