The anti-chain snatching unit of the Mumbai Crime Branch on Thursday arrested a 22-year-old rickshaw driver and is on the lookout for his aide for allegedly committing three chain snatching offences recently.
The number of chain snatching cases have registered a dip by more than 50% in 2016. The arrested accused Hansram Singh Hari Gurjar, 22, hails from Rajasthan and is a Malwani resident. He has no prior criminal record which made the detection tough, said a police official. The duo operated during morning time and used to target senior citizens or elderly women who used to go to church for morning prayers or go out for morning walks.
Acting on a tip off, unit head, inspector Pramod Kokate, and assistant police inspectors Riyaz Kazi and Prakash Howal nabbed Gujjar from Malwani. Explaining their modus operandi a police official said, “They used to travel in rickshaw during morning hours. They targeted woman aged over 50 years as its difficult for them to fight back. They used to come in rickshaw from behind the woman and after snatching their gold chains used to flee in the three-wheeler. We have seized the rickshaw as well.”
Gujjar used to drive the rickshaw during night time and in the morning before returning it to its owner he used it for crime purpose. The involvement of Gujjar and his aide who is at large has been established in three cases of chain snatching at DN nagar police station, Amboli police station and Malad police station.
The police strongly suspect that the accused are involved in more cases. A total of 909 cases of chain snatching were filed in 2015 in Mumbai, while in 2016 the figure steeply dropped to 443 cases. Apart from the installation of CCTV cameras that came handy, the police marked the areas that were infested by chain snatching and the timings as well.
The police increased the patrolling in specific areas and also created a lot of awareness among women.