Chandigarh: Mobiles were snatchers’ most fancied target in 2017 

Rise in snatching by 47%: 104 mobiles, 89 gold chains and 45 handbags were reportedly snatched; there were 161 cases in 2016 and 238 last year.

punjab Updated: Jan 18, 2018 11:30 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,mobile snatching,most fancied target
Police claimed to have solved 115 cases out of the 238 with the arrest of 70 accused, along with recovery of stolen items worth Rs 33 lakh from the accused(HT File )

The ubiquitous mobile phones remained the most snatched items in 2017, followed by gold chains and then handbags, says the police data.

Last year 238 cases of snatching were reported in the city and 104 mobile phones were snatched as against 45 handbags and 89 gold chains.In 2016, 161 cases of snatching were registered. It translates into 47.7% rise in snatching cases. Police claimed to have solved 115 cases out of the 238 with the arrest of 70 accused, along with recovery of stolen items worth Rs 33 lakh from the accused.

The accused are mostly men in the age group of 18 to 30, and move around on motorcycles with the registration number plates covered with mud.

The police officials attribute the easy resale of the mobile phones as the major reason for the increase in cases of snatching of the mobile phones. The second hand market of mobile phones is vast and growing, hence the stolen mobiles are sold easily.

A police official said while selling a mobile phone no one checks the bill or the ownership and this makes it easy for the snatchers to dispose of the mobile phones.

“A person moving around holding a mobile phone is less alert and is an easy target for the snatchers,” said Pawan Kumar, deputy superintendent of police (DSP, crime).

Drug addicts mostly snatch mobiles

Police in 2017 arrested 70 persons for snatching. A police official claimed snatching handbags and mobile phones is done by drug addicts, looking to make easy money to fund their addiction.

“Mostly the chain snatching is done by organised gang,” said a police official. Police arrested members of the Bawaria community for snatching chains. In November, police arrested brothers hailing from Jalandhar for snatching chains and they used to exchange them to get drugs. Police had recovered 6 gold chains from the duo.

Elderly women easy targets

Snatchers mostly target elderly women or those going to temples or sitting outside their homes in the evening, between 6pm to 10pm. The accused are mostly men in the age group of 18 to 30, and move around on motorcycles with the registration number plates covered with mud.“Mostly the two-wheeler borne persons indulge in snatching as it is easy to flee but in 2017 there were cases wherein the persons moving in auto rickshaw have snatched purses while a handful of incidents have been reported of car-borne persons snatching,” added a senior police official.

Southern sectors more prone

Of the 238 cases, the south division has reported 125 cases. “The areas that have seen more snatching are the ones that provide an easy escape route to the snatchers. They carry out a recce of the area before striking,” said DSP.The southern belt of the city — from Sector 31 in the east to Sector 39 and Maloya in the west — provide escape to Mohali and surrounding villages.

Investigations of police point out that sectors where students are staying as paying guests and have prominent markets such as Sectors 15, 22, 34 and 37, are also on the snatchers’ hit list.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 16:20 IST