The police have solved a mobile phone snatching case, eight months after the crime as the device had been put on surveillance, and was switched on in India, only recently.
The phone was snatched from a Phagwara resident Varun by motorcycle-borne miscreants on August 23, 2012. A complaint was submitted to the local police with particulars of the phone, International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI Number) and the SIM number. The phone had since then been put on surveillance, SHO Division Number 1, Balbir Singh said, adding that the three snatchers had been arrested.
"Snacthers never put the phone on the on mode, and sold it to Harpreet Singh, a mobile phone shop owner from Ghuman village in Gurdaspur for Rs 22,000. Harpreet bought the phone as one of the snatchers was known to him and later sent this phone by courier to Navdeep Singh, a resident of his village, studying in New York," the SHO said.
"Recently, Jatinder Singh Boparai, the owner of the store, where Navdeep worked part-time, visited India and brought along this phone."
During his stay, Boparai used the phone and triggered the surveillance checks, giving us the first clue in the case, the SHO added.
A police team was then sent to Jassian Kalan village, where Jatinder had put up during the visit, but he had returned to New York. It was on calling him up that the whole matter was resolved, the SHO claimed.
On reconstructing the sequence of events and evidence on record, Joga Singh, a resident of Bavowal village in Amritsar, Deepak and Raja Virdi, both residents of Jalandhar, were arrested for snatching the phone.
Investigations have shown that all the accused are drug addicts and had a criminal record. The accused have been remanded in judicial custody.
Commenting on the case, ADCP Diljinder Singh Dhillon said that mobile phone snatchings were a common crime and some steps could be very critical in ensuring that such cases were cracked at the earliest.
"The first step when any phone is lost, is to report the IMEI number to the mobile service provider you were using--- the SIM card company, so that the phone is put on surveillance. Also, block your SIM immediately."
He added that a police report should also be lodged when a theft or criminal intent is suspected.
"In most cases, people are not aware about the IMEI details of their cell-phones and criminals take advantage," he added.
Find the IMEI.
Most phones have a very simple key-in method to retrieve IMEI/MEID numbers: enter a 5-digit string-*#06#-and the number will be displayed on your phone.
Look in the empty battery slot for a white label noting the IMEI (highlighted in yellow here). It should be 15 or 17 digits, not including a few forward slashes, and shouldn't contain any letters. Only the first 15 digits are needed.