Although hoardings are normally associated with political workers indulging in sycophancy, the Chembur police are using them to good effect.
Around eight hoardings have been put up by Chembur police in their jurisdiction to alert pedestrians of techniques used by criminals to con unsuspecting victims in the area.
Senior police inspector of Chembur police station Bhimrao Rathod said, “We are taking several measures to ensure that incidents like chain snatching, theft and robbery can be prevented. We have put up hoardings across Chembur to alert citizens of the modus operandi used by criminals so that people know when they are walking into a trap.”
Explaining one such modus operandi, Rathod said that there have been several instances in the area wherein a gang targets car drivers and diverts their attention to steal valuables kept in the car.
When the owner of a car goes to a restaurant or a shopping mall leaving the driver behind, one gang member approaches the driver. He drops a wad of notes near the car and informs the driver. As the driver gets out of the car to pick up the bundle of notes, another gang member pulls out the laptop or other valuables kept in the car from the other side.
“We have also distributed 5,000 pamphlets in hotels and shops at Chembur giving them safety tips. We are also holding meetings to sensitise people against such conmen”, added Rathod.
Assistant police inspector Sunil Kadam from the Chembur police station said, “In the pamphlets we have asked hotel and shop owners to allow car parking near the entrance if possible. This will ensure that owners can keep an eye on the car.”