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Theft, not OK, please: 1,154 vehicles stolen in 5 months in Mumbai

The increase in vehicle thefts was among the issues discussed at a recently held conference, chaired by Mumbai police commissioner.

mumbai Updated: May 27, 2018 23:23 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times
Vehicle theft,Vehicle theft mumbai,Mumbai
Auto thieves typically target white and silver cars that are more popular. (HT Photo)

The city recorded 1,154 vehicle thefts from January 1 to May 25, higher than 1,093 recorded during the corresponding period last year, according to the Mumbai police data.

A senior IPS officer said the western suburbs are the worst hit. “Vehicle thefts are on the rise in the western suburbs, with at least three vehicles being stolen daily,” he said.

Officers attribute it to a lot of reasons. “With no parking space, residents are forced to park cars on roads, making them easy targets,” said a crime detection officer with a suburban police station. “Also, it is easier to flee with the stolen vehicle after crossing the Dahisar check naka, as it gives the thieves direct access to National Highway No. 8.”

Police records show Maruti Swift Dzire, Mahindra Scorpio, Chevrolet Tavera and Toyota Innova top the list of stolen cars. “White and silver are the preferred colours,” said an officer, who maintains the statistics.

The increase in vehicle thefts was among the issues discussed at a recently held conference, chaired by Mumbai police commissioner DD Padsalgikar.

“A car thief just needs a screwdriver and a small socket to start the ignition. They can unlock the system in three minutes,” said a police officer, who worked with the anti-motor vehicle theft unit of the Mumbai crime branch that was disbanded in January.

The disbanding of the anti-motor vehicle theft unit, which used to focus on gangs stealing motor vehicles, has compounded the problem. Sanjay Saxena, joint commissioner of police (crime branch), denied that the unit was disbanded. “It has not been disbanded. We have merged the unit with the property cell,” said Saxena.

Sachin Patil, deputy commissioner of police and a Mumbai police spokesman, said, “The zonal deputy commissioner of police and senior police inspectors of each police station are organising nakabandis and conducting surprise checks to find these vehicles. Efforts are being made to solve cases at the earliest. Prevention of such incidents is our priority.”

First Published: May 27, 2018 23:22 IST