Compact family cars and two-wheelers aside, heavy vehicles such as trucks and tempos are Delhi’s vehicle thieves’ next best preference.
In fact, as many as three goods carrier vehicles, ranging from tempos to trucks were stolen from various parts of the city within minutes of each other almost daily between January 1 and 29.
“As per our figures, at least 22 goods carriers have been stolen from areas that see high mobility of commercial traffic this month. What is alarming is the fact that two to three of such heavy, goods-laden vehicles have been reported to have disappeared within minutes of each other every alternate day,” said a senior police officer who wished to remain anonymous.
While southeast Delhi’s Jaitpur reported five of such vehicles being stolen, four were stolen from west Delhi’s Mundka and Khayala areas and three from the northwest Delhi’s Wazirpur Industrial Area. Goods vehicles have also disappeared from designated parking spots at the Old Delhi Railway Station and in Patel Nagar.
“January 13 was a bad day for the owners of heavy vehicles as four of them were reported to have been stolen from Mundka, Jaitpur and Okhla within half an hour,” the officer said.
Senior Delhi Police officers and members of the city’s business community attribute the thieves’ subtle preference for heavy vehicles to their objectives of transporting stolen items, and sometimes contraband, to their hideouts on the fringes of the city in addition to feeding the Capital’s expanding market of grey merchandise.
“Stealing such vehicles serves a dual purpose for thieves,” the officer said.
“They use their local contacts to push the merchandise that they have acquired from them in underground spare parts markets such as Jama Masjid, Karol Bagh and Swami Shradhanand Marg near Kamla Market,” the officer said, adding, added, “The vehicle itself is then used to transport items that their associates acquire from small time crooks such as snatchers and burglars operating in the city.”
PB Babbar, who owns an iron rods manufacturing unit in southeast Delhi’s Okhla said, “In our area, there is an elaborate mechanism for lifting rods off trucks as they pass through the area. These are then sold at cheap rates in Ghaziabad, Noida and other areas of the national capital region (NCR).”