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Jewelry store robbed in true 'Money Heist' style complete with masks, loot and a Professor

According to reports, a group of robbers had a go at a jewelry store in a city in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and the plan was hatched after the suspected mastermind watched the TV series.
UPDATED MAR 12, 2020
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Álex Pina may not have conceived the idea for Netflix's 'Money Heist' from a true story, but it appears that her story did inspire a real-life robbery. In a dramatic 'Money Heist' style robbery complete with masks, a "Professor" and lots of loot, of course, a group of robbers had a go at a jewelry store in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. According to reports, the plan was hatched after the suspected mastermind watched the TV series.

The incident took place in a store of jewelry franchise brand Lalithaa Jewellery, popular in southern Indian. Two robbers made a hole in the sidewall of the shop in the city of Trichy and entered the premises. CCTV footage shows that they first canvassed the ground floor and then went on to take the jewels that were on the mannequins, following which they moved on to clear out the three-floored showroom. 

Around $2million worth of jewelry was stolen and the robbers reportedly carried away 800 pieces of jewelry in duffel bags that weighed about 30 kgs. According to the police, the robbers did not touch the silver ornaments. They stayed in the store for 90 minutes without being detected despite there being 6 watchmen outside manning it.


They managed to escape but one man was arrested in a nearby town of Thiruvarur by the Tamil Nadu police. He was identified as Manikandan, 35, a native of Thiruvarur. He was arrested with 5 kgs of diamonds on him after he was stopped for not wearing a helmet. 

Nine special teams have been formed to get the rest of the seven suspects, which also includes a man named S Murugan, 45, who is said to be the ringleader of the gang. The arrested robber said in his police statement that Murugan had been inspired by the series and that he was like the Professor in this case. Murugan's criminal record includes 150 robberies in three south Indian states, including Tamil Nadu. 

A police source close to the investigation reportedly told news outlet Hindustan Times that he was "unique". "Murugan and this team have been using walkie-talkie to communicate. In fact, Thiruvarur police had attempted more than 50 times to arrest Murugan from his house. But he seldom stays there," the police source added.

He is also said to love films and is interested in producing a movie. The police suspect an insider help in the robbery.