Gurugram: Vehicle thefts surge post lockdown as police launch crackdownUpdated: Sep 14, 2020 00:31 IST
The number of snatching cases in the city may have put Gurugram Police on its toes , but it is the surge in vehicle thefts in the past few months that is giving the force headaches.
The city police has decided to crack the whip on vehicle thieves after data available with it suggested that the vehicle thefts have shot up considerable ever since the 68 day lockdown was lifted. Gurugram police have so far has arrested more than 50 people from Nuh, Faridabad, Delhi and Rajasthan, who they said were involved in stealing vehicles.
Last year, between January and September 10, around 2,804 vehicle theft cases were reported from the city. This year, at least 1,742 cases have been reported, a dip of 37.9%, with the police saying that the lockdown having played an important role, with a three layer security ring and heavy deployment of personnel during night time also helping.
However, despite all the measures in place, the city witnessed 54 cases of vehicle theft in May, 115 in June, 210 in July and 289 in August. In comparison, number of vehicle theft cases registered in April this year was just 34.
The city now witnesses at least seven cases of vehicle theft, on an average, daily. The gangs involved in the crimes often are from nearby districts and the vehicles are mostly sold in Northeast India and Uttar Pradesh at half the price, said police.
lice commissioner K K Rao said that a crime mapping exercise — which identified areas from where maximum cases of vehicle thefts were reported — has helped them to keep a check on such vehicle thefts. “Since we have identified all the vulnerable spots, teams have been assigned duties accordingly and are coordinating with police control room, so that they know identity of suspects and the roads that they take to flee. We have provided the latest technology — GPS and wireless communication devices — to officials deployed at 147 crime spots, 79 police control room vans and 123 patrol bikes,” he said.
Police said they have started analysing the spots through Crime Mapping Analytics and Predictive System, which accesses real-time data from the police control room.
Rao said that they have continued deployment of force in three cordons, covering all roads connecting it to neighbouring districts, including Nuh. “The outer cordon has around 540 cops deployed at the borders connecting to other districts and state. Barricading is done and nakas have ben set up at 147 spots to avoid unwanted entry and to check all suspicious vehicles. The inner cordon is deployed at the vulnerable spots from where most of the street crimes, such as snatching, robbery, and vehicle thefts, have been reported. The last cordon is keeping vigil of dark spots and our focus is on crimes against women ,” he said.
As many as 2,500 cops are deployed in the three layers to maintain law and order across the city with all wings of the Police Control Room (PCR), traffic, Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) having been roped in
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (crime), said that as a result of the lockdown, there has been a marked change in the crime pattern across the city. But that’s not the only reason as to why the number of vehicle thefts had gone up. “The gangs from different areas conduct reconnaissance of the residential areas and target luxury cars and SUVs which are then sold at better prices as compared to others. The gangs are also involved in forging documents to sell these vehicles and these days they are using latest technology to break locks and to start ignition,” he said.
Sangwan said that they have intensified night patrolling, increased deployment on roads and added more checkpoints along borders with Delhi and Rajasthan where chances of fleeing with stolen vehicles are high.
About 5,800 police personnel are deployed across the city and 1,780 of them are on night duty. Last month, the city police got 59 probationary sub-inspectors, who will also be given the responsibility to tackle crime and to come up with new ideas.
“One of the other reasons for the increase in vehicle theft was due to the absence of modes of transport. Last month, most of the motorbikes that were stolen were from parking areas outside hospitals and vacant plots ion residential areas,” he said.