On Tuesday, the south district of the Delhi Police seemed to have performed an impossible feat - that of retrieving an allegedly stolen mobile phone.
A commendable fact indeed, considering that mobile thefts in Delhi went-up by more than 15% in comparison to 2010.
According to data compiled by the Delhi Police, as many as 8,728 mobile phones were reported stolen or missing between January 1 and October 31 in 2010. This year, till date, the Delhi Police were intimated about the theft of 10,066 mobile phones.
"While northeast Delhi accounted for more than 28% that is 2,820, of the stolen phones, west Delhi reported the least such cases as only 22 complaints were received," said a senior police officer, adding, "As many as 717 phones were stolen in the New Delhi area and 434 such complaints were received by the Crime Branch which oversees police presence on railway stations," the officer said.
Interestingly, only a measly 5% of the total stolen phones were smart phones belonging to the BlackBerry and Apple category while the rest of them, police claim, were 'average' Nokia or LG machines.
The south Delhi police seem to have been lucky - tipped-off as they were by a local mobile retailer operating in Fatehpur Beri. However, when it comes to retrieving stolen cell phones, investigation usually turns a dead-end. This is not only due to the multiplicity of telephone service providers but the sheer number of establishments masquerading as 'mobile repair shops' that actually specialise in changing IMEI numbers.
The police are at their biggest loss for words when it comes to retrieving a misplaced BlackBerry.
"It's next to impossible to retrieve a misplaced BlackBerry machine because the first thing a thief does is remove the SIM card; and subsequently seeking clearance to track it from the company's headquarters in Canada takes ages," said the officer.