The spurt in housebreaking cases in the city in recent times has the police worried. Even more worrisome is that the audacious robbers are now striking in the daytime.
The comparative figures on housebreakings registered with the police till September this year as well as last year, show a sharp rise.
Also, the number of cases registered in the month of September this year was much higher than in August.
According to the police, the rise in housebreakings during the day could be due to several reasons. One could be that there are fewer such cases being detected and two, due to new gangs being introduced in recent times.
“Also, in Mumbai, people tend to mind their own business. They prefer keeping to themselves. So, when thieves strike at the house next door, they are unaware of what is happening,” said a senior crime branch officer, requesting anonymity, because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Another factor is that most housebreakings are either by beggars or petty thieves with no prior criminal record and hence, it becomes difficult to track them down.
Most gangs prefer striking in areas that are less crowded, especially during the afternoon when most people take a nap.
Assistant commissioner of police (crime branch) Jaywant Hargude said these days most couples are working and are out during the day.
So, striking during the day makes more sense for robbers, as they feel they can get away easily.
During the night, security in buildings is usually tight. Also, police vehicles do the rounds of the area during the night, Hargude added.
Another important reason behind the rise in the number of such cases, police said, is unemployment.
“Not all accused in housebreaking cases are hard-core criminals. There are several who are arrested soon after they commit the first offence.”
Some, the police say, are educated, but have taken to crime as they don’t have a job.