Investigations in the recent incidents of chain snatching have revealed that a majority of the arrested youth are students — in the age group of 16-21 years — and were enrolled in government-run or lesser known private colleges and schools.
The police said the spiralling cost of gold had lured these youths to the world of crime.
They further claimed that the accused usually sold the stolen booty to jewellers in Delhi.
To curb the practice, the Gurgaon police have started booking jewellers, whose names had been revealed by snatchers during interrogation.
A few Delhi-based jewellers have also been arrested for allegedly purchasing gold ornaments from thieves at low prices.
Due to the soaring price of the yellow metal, a snatcher usually makes Rs. 30,000 for a gold chain.
“Students are given two-wheelers at an early age. Sometime ago, I was on my way to the market. Two motorcycle-borne youths approached me and asked for the direction. When I was talking to them, one of them snatched my gold chain and the duo fled,” said Nupur Kalra, a resident of Sector 56.
Maheshwar Dayal, deputy commissioner of police (crime), told HT, “A majority of the arrested snatchers are students of Classes 11 and 12 of government schools or colleges. They are easily lured to the world of crime. Snatching chains is an easy and quick way to make big bucks.”
High level of poverty and illiteracy also plays a role. Thieves mainly target women as they are easy prey.
In April, the Gurgaon police arrested a few students involved in incidents of chain-snatching and purse snatching on MG Road and in posh areas of Gurgaon.
The accused had stolen 100 motorbikes and Activa scooters and kept these in a warehouse in Dhanwapur village and Faizalpur, said the police.
While the main accused was a BSc student of Dronacharya College, Gurgaon, his accomplices were enrolled in government schools.
Meanwhile, the police said if any jeweller purchases stolen ornaments from chain snatchers, he would be arrested.