If you are travelling along the Western Express Highway, hold on to your gold chains and mangalsutras.
The police have identified at least eight spots along the 25-km stretch between Bandra and Dahisar where chain snatchers strike routinely and have enough escape routes.
The spots identified are the Andheri Bisleri factory and Natraj Studio junctions, Dindoshi signal, Thakur Complex signal in Kandivli (East), Kurar signal, Hub Mall and Aarey signal in Goregaon (East), and Kherwadi junction near the Bandra court.
These spots were marked because the number of chain snatching cases registered in police stations these spots fall under — Samta Nagar, Kurar, Goregaon (East), Dindoshi, Andheri and Kherwadi — is high.
The police said at least 92 cases of chain snatching were recorded in the western suburbs between September 2009 and March 2010. Out of these, at least 60 per cent of the incidents took place at these spots.
“We have increased security at these junctions,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Amitabh Gupta.
Traffic police officials posted at these spots have also been instructed to be alert.
The police have realised that these spots have high incidences of chain snatching because of the number of escape routes available.
Each of these junctions has many ancillary roads and small lanes from where the accused can manage a quick escape.
“The topography of these spots helps chain-snatchers because they have to flee very fast after committing the crime,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police J. Hargude.
Apart from uniformed men, policemen in plainclothes have also been deployed near these areas to keep a watch. The police say in most cases, the accused come on motorcycles, snatch chains and flee.