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A Private Investigator From Indore Tracked Down The School Girl Who Stole His Phone To Pay For Her Education. Instead Of Pressing Charges, He Paid The Rest Of Her School Fee.

August 11, 2020 | by Mitali Shah

Being a bookworm and a literature student has taught me a lot. But the most important lesson I have learned from all those years of burying my head in those novels is that there is always more to a story than meets the eye. More often than not, even in real life, there is a story within the story. But unfortunately, there are very few people who are willing to walk that extra mile to read between the fine lines. 

Let me ask you a question. If someone stole your phone, but they did it for a good cause or out of sheer desperation, would you still press charges? It brings a lot of morals into question, doesn’t it? If it were me, even though robbery and theft is not something I condone, if there was quality evidence that the person had a very valid reason and no criminal intent, I doubt I would press charges. But of course, only one in a million thieves or burglars who fall into this category. 

The reason I asked that question was that a man from Indore, MP was faced with the real-life version of this moral dilemma. 

You see, on 2nd August, a 16-year-old girl apparently, stole his phone to pay her school fee. It was an act of sheer desperation and stealing that phone was her last resort. She went on to mortgage the phone for Rs 2,500. The girl paid that money to the school as part of her fee. 

Now, like anyone else who has had their phones stolen, the victim of the theft Dheeraj Dubey filed an FIR with the  Dwarkapuri Police Station. When they failed to procure leads, as the police often do in such cases, Dheeraj decided to investigate this himself. Oh, I should probably mention that he is a private investigator who runs a detective agency in the city.  

Dheeraj started his investigation by retracing his movements on the day of the theft. He came to the conclusion that his phone had been stolen from his residence itself. So, he made a list of all the people who had visited the house on that day and zeroed down on a woman and her young daughter. 

You don’t need to have proficient detective skills to figure out that in this case, the daughter was the 16-year-old girl who had a case of sticky fingers. Upon questioning, Dheeraj found out that the girl’s father was unwell and the family has spent all of their savings on his medical bills and hence, are left with no resources for her education. 

Dheeraj told TOI, “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.” 

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She then confessed to the crime when Dheeraj told her he would talk to her father about this. She broke down and admitted to having stolen the phone. She also showed the detective a receipt as proof that she had mortgaged the phone with the help of a friend. 

 The girl added that she had only mortgaged the phone and not sold it because she was hoping that she would return it to him once she completed her studies and gotten a job. After hearing this, Dheeraj was so moved that he did not press charges against her. Instead, he retrieved the phone and also paid the rest of the girl’s school fee. 

Theft is wrong on every level and a thief should be punished. But there are times in life where merely looking at the facts on the surface is not enough. You have to look deeper to see the larger picture. But it’s like I said before, this kind of case comes around very rarely. Normally, if you lose your phone you file a complaint with the police and forget about ever seeing it again. Most probably a pick-pocketer with sticky fingers is at fault and not some innocent naive schoolgirl who needs money to complete her education.

Living in a world full of crime and hatred, we are so used to jumping to conclusions that we forget to look any deeper than the facts laid out for us. 

And that is exactly why we really applaud this private investigator who not only gave the girl a benefit of the doubt but also paid her school fees. 

It’s so admirable!


Mitali Shah

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