Gurusevak Singh alias Happy, a resident of Kesav Puram, barged into the house of Usha Madan on Sunday last and snatched her gold chain and earrings.
He managed to escape from the house before her husband and the domestic help could come after hearing her scream.
During probe, police concluded that the crime was committed by local criminals and zeroed in on Singh who had earlier worked as a cab driver at a taxi stand in Ashok Vihar. He was arrested yesterday.
"He had lost his job recently due to his bad habits. He needed money and was desperate to make easy one. He knew that a senior couple is residing and decided to target them," a senior police official said.
He had sold the jewellery to a local jeweller who has also been arrested.