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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Young, addicted and petty: meet the neighbourhood thief

Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, October 15, 2013
First Published: 10:45 IST(15/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:47 IST(15/10/2013)

Even though the city has been witnessing thefts of motor vehicles every other day, thieves are not even sparing petty things such as copper wires, taps, iron grills and X-ray sheets.


A look at the recent trend and the data available with the police suggests that these small items are not only easy to be stolen but also fetch little but easy money.

The ones indulging in these thefts have been identified as youngsters between the age of 18 and 30, and most them addicted to drugs and liquor.

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Explaining the trend, deputy superintendent of police (crime) Satbir Singh says, “A small fraction is involved in petty thefts, and these thieves, most of them youngsters, do not stick to one city. Even ` 100 is a lot for them to satisfy their need for drugs.”

“These thieves do not even care about harming anyone in the process. In fact, we have seen educated youngsters indulging in snatching chains and purses just to meet their day-to-day needs of drugs and alcohol. Some of them do it to maintain lavish lifestyles.”

The data available with the UT police says at least 200 taps, large quantity of copper wires, iron grills, gas cylinders, power invertor batteries were stolen in the past year. At least 50 were nabbed for petty thefts.

Manimajra station house officer (SHO) Charanjit Singh, who had recently nabbed a BBA student for snatching a purse from a woman, says, “These youngsters get down to snatching to make quick money. They come well prepared, wearing strapped helmets and covering or twisting number plates on the rear side to avoid it being read.”

SHO of Sector 34, Rajesh Shukla, adds “These thieves and snatchers are arrested under sections 379 and 380 of the Indian Penal Code, and are later released on bail. After coming out, they again get into the same circle before getting caught.”

He says a lot of petty thefts are reported from factories, and the items sold to junk dealers at lower than the usual price. Thieves target telephone and AC wires at houses, as the copper in them is worth about ` 100.

“Concerted efforts are made to nab these thieves. This year, we have arrested a large number,” said UT inspector general of police (IGP) RP Upadhyaya.

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