Residents lose sleep as thieves run riot
The tall claims of efficient patrolling made by the local police have fallen flat as is evident in the flurry of burglaries, theft and snatching incidents reported in the city this year.
Even though the police continues to beef up security within the sectors, inter-border nakas (checkposts) and cheetah motorcycles zipping around the city to nab snatchers, the spurt in incidents poorly reflect on the law and order scene in the city.
Since the beginning of this year at least three to four thefts and snatchings have been reported from across the city every day.
According to crime statistics with the police, motor vehicle thefts continue to top the crime chart this year. Last year 144 vehicles were lifted in January and February, while this year the number is 129. Besides SUVs two-wheelers remain the favourite targets. The largest number of vehicles were reportedly stolen from Sectors 34, 36, 39, 26 and 17 and Manimajra.
So far around 120 thefts and burglaries have been reported in January and February, compared to 167 last year. The number of snatchings and robberies remain almost the same as last year, with 35 incidents reported in the first two months of 2014.
Around 270 thefts and 240 burglaries were reported last year. Though the number of such crimes has dipped to some extent as compared to last year, incidents continue to being reported almost every day.
The burglaries reported in January and February took place in houses that had been locked for two to five days.
Government accommodations in Sectors 22 and 23 were also not spared by thieves, with cash, jewellery and electronic gadgets as the favourite items. In a couple of cases thieves even posed as servants and got themselves hired in the houses before striking.
If the beginning of the year saw miscreants robbing passersby, the trend of snatching gold chains and mobile phones by motorcycle-borne youngsters continued. A senior police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Thefts in the city’s slum colonies are usually committed by gangs of juveniles.
The juveniles are generally let off within a fortnight after which they are ready to strike again.”
After being arrested snatchers and thieves manage to come out of jail on bail and continue with the thefts until they are caught again, said sources.
Those indulging in thefts are habitual offenders. Some of them are part of organised gangs and are active in various cities. In fact, youngsters habitually committing thefts generally do not stick to one city.
The police apprehended at least 15 burglars and snatchers, including a gang of juveniles, this year.
A peculiar trend came to the fore with thieves leaving behind notes claiming to come and strike again on weekends after committing thefts in Sectors 22 and 23.
UT inspector general of police RP Upadhyaya said: “Efforts are on to curb incidends of thefts and burglaries. Cops have been asked to increase patrolling within the sectors to check burglaries at houses.
We have also urged city residents to get police verification of their domestic helps done to keep track of their whereabouts. Special drives are being launched to catch snatchers and maintain a record of their profiles."