However, police were flabbergasted when they found that the alleged thief was wife of a city-based businessman.
The accused, whose identity has been withheld, later secretly dropped the purse containing cash and gold jewellery in a donation box of Guru Ganesh Bhavan, from where she had allegedly stolen it.
Police inspector Sanjay Deshmukh said the theft took place on January 18 when Munjadevi Singhvi and her family members, who hailed from Bengaluru, were paying obeisance at the Bhavan, a religious place for Jains.
The purse contained Rs 15,000 cash and 70 gram gold jewellery.
The inspector said that police identified the woman on the basis of CCTV footage in which she was seen leaving the place with the purse, and fleeing in a car parked outside.
Police traced the owner of the car on the basis of its registration number, he said.
Meanwhile, as the word about the theft spread, the woman dropped the purse in the donation box, apparently out of fear that she might be traced, Deshmukh said.
"The purse with its contents intact was found by the management committee members of the Bhavan," Deshmukh said, adding that a case of theft was registered against the woman Sunday night.
Police have impounded the car of the accused, who is yet to be arrested.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)