Incidents of theft in local trains have seen a significant rise this year, with 195 cases of bag-lifting registered with the Government Railway Police (GRP) till October.
According to the GRP, the total amount of personal property stolen from commuters has been estimated to be around Rs 1.5 crore till October this year. In December 2009, the figure was around Rs 93 lakh.
The GRP claims that cases of bag-lifting are on a rise because recovery rate of property stolen and detection of crime is low.
“People have a tendency of keeping their bags on the luggage rack and dozing off. This gives the bag-lifters an opportunity to strike. They take the bag and get off at the next station. By the time the commuter wakes up and realises that his bag is missing, it is already too late,” said a GRP officer, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Also, rise in the crowd during peaks hours has led to the massive number of theft cases. As commuters are busy trying to make space in the jam-packed compartments, the thieves take advantage of the situation and flee with the bags. They sometimes travel in gangs to avoid detection.
Dilip Chavan, assistant commissioner of police (GRP), said: “Detection and recovery in bag-lifting cases is less. It is impossible to track down the accused once they have alighted from the train. The best chance to recover the stolen goods is to catch the thief red-handed. It also leads to detection of several other cases.” Chavan said in most cases cash is stolen, making it difficult to trace the culprits. “Due to less number of cases being detected there is an increase in offences.”