In a crackdown on chain snatchers, police constables on patrolling duty will now be armed with iron rods. The police said the move is to create fear amongst chain snatchers who manage to flee on their bikes, with police officers managing to barely give them a chase.
On Saturday afternoon, two unidentified men on a motorcycle snatched the chain of a 46-year-old woman, who was travelling with her husband in an autorickshaw in Vikhroli. The chain was worth Rs1.10 lakh.
A police officer talking on condition of anonymity said, “The beat marshals on patrolling duty in areas such as Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Bhandup and Mulund -where several instances of chain snatchings are reported - have been given an iron rod. The objective is to create fear in the minds of the chain snatchers who usually have a free run.”
Earlier, the beat marshals carried a traditional wooden baton while patrolling. “As compared to the baton, the iron rods will be comparatively more helpful to halt the bike on which the chain snatcher flees after executing a crime," the officer said.
The police have also begun patrolling in plain clothes. Also, patrolling on the Eastern Express Highway - where several instances of chain snatching have been reported - has been increased. "We are always thinking of new ways to curb crime. Chain snatching had become a menace and hence we decided to come up with newer measures,” said S Ghule, senior inspector of Navghar police station.
The police have tried to curb chain-snatching incidents earlier by resorting to book the accused for robbery (that carries a higher punishment) instead of theft.