Delhi Police have now asked all police stations to scour an abandoned vehicle of fingerprints before seizing it. This move will help reduce the rising number of auto thefts and nab habitual offenders.
The collected fingerprints will then be matched with the database of existing criminals, making it easier for police to zero in on auto-lifters.
Police said criminals usually abandon stolen vehicles on the roadside after failing to dispose them of. “We have a strong database of criminals’ fingerprints, and there is a decent possibility of finding a match of auto-lifters in it. This can also be used as evidence in court,” a senior police officer said.
Every district in Delhi has an anti-auto theft squad (AATS), which has been asked to provide details of active auto lifters.
“We have directed the district police to check all parking lots regularly to see if any stolen vehicle is parked there. We are coordinating with jail authorities so that they can share information on released criminals,” a crime branch official said. The crime branch has also asked the districts to identify top 10 wanted auto lifters to be shared with the other districts.
In the past three years, 44,025 vehicles have been stolen from the city, of which only 7,425 could be recovered. Police said that most vehicles could not be traced as they are sold in the far off north-eastern states, and even in Nepal.
According to Delhi Police statistics, vehicle thefts accounted for 26% of the total crime and Delhi accounts for 9.7% of motor vehicle thefts, second only to Uttar Pradesh (14.1%) and Maharashtra (12.7%).
“The biggest reason for these thefts is the non-availability of parking places in residential areas and even near commercial complexes,” the officer added.