Either Delhiites do not love their favourite gadgets enough to keep them safe, or the Capital’s cell phone thieves got smarter and more efficient in one year. In 2010, the number of mobile phones stolen in the Capital went up by nearly 60%.
According to Delhi Police records, 10,000-odd phones were stolen in 2010 — as opposed to about 6,500 in 2009.
Most such cases were reported from northeast Delhi. “In 2009, we received 6,458 complaints of missing and stolen cell phones. That number has gone up to 10,322 in 2010, which is an increase of more than 59%. This is definitely a shocking trend, considering that the local police are notorious for non-cooperation with victims in a majority of these cases,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
Senior officers also believe that mobile theft is one crime in which most “burking” of cases takes place.
“Due to the common nature of mobile theft, many cases go unreported either because the complainants give up as they are forced to make multiple trips to the local police station. Or they don’t approach the police because they know of this vicious drill. But this lack of cognisance is dangerous as stolen mobiles are often used in hoax calls or in commission of heinous crime —prolonging the investigation,” the officer said.
A close analysis of the complaints revealed the maximum number of cases got reported from northeast Delhi and the least number from west Delhi. “As many as 3,405 such cases were brought to our notice from northeast Delhi. The least number of cases, 21, were reported from west Delhi,” he said.
The police believe that flashy mobile phones were the reason behind most cases of snatching and other street crime. “It has become easier to judge a person’s socio-economic background from the phone he or she carries,” the officer said. According to the police, a majority of persons held for snatching confess to have focused on the their victims because of the virtue of the mobile phone they were carrying.