Unidentified miscreants on bikes wreaked havoc in different parts of the city, collectively making away with booty worth Rs 7 lakh
Chain snatchers are back with a vengeance. Even though the police have made repeated attempts to curb the menace of chain snatching, their efforts failed as on Saturday at least 10 cases of chain snatching were reported across the city.
The areas targeted by the chain snatchers were mostly the suburban area of Kasturba Marg, MIDC, Jogeshwari, Wadala, Bhandup, Govandi, Dahisar and Trombay. The cops told MiD DAY that the chain snatchers struck from 8.30 am to 7 pm vanishing with booty collectively valued at more than Rs 7 lakh. However, out of the 10 cases reported, there was one unsuccessful attempt at Shivaji Park.
The chain-snatching spree began at RAK Marg in Wadala with Rajdevi Pandey, a resident of Sewri (West). She was walking with her son when two miscreants on a bike zoomed past her taking with them her 6-gm mangal sutra and another 8-gm gold chain worth Rs 30,000.
Around 12.30 pm, another incident of chain snatching was reported at Bhandup when Meenakshi Jhujwadia complained that on her way to a hospital, she was robbed of her chains costing a total of Rs 1.23 lakh by two unidentified men on bikes.
And the chain snatching cases kept mounting through the afternoon as another case was reported this time at MIDC, Andheri. Sujata Kumar, a resident of Road no 7, MIDC said that a bike approached her while she was waiting for a bus and made away with her jewellery worth Rs 14,000.
Around 3 pm, three more people became victims of chain snatchers when miscreants on bikes came and sped away with booty valued at Rs 3.06 lakh.
Another incident occurred at Shivaji Park when two bikers rode past 60-year-old Uma Chaudhary attempting to snatch the chain around her neck. However, their attempt failed and they fled the scene.
The evening was more fruitful for chain snatchers as they struck again at Dahisar making away with chains worth Rs 1 lakh. Meanwhile, two other cases were reported later in the evening, one at 5.30 pm and another at 7 pm.
When MiD DAY asked the authorities about the spurt in the crime, an official from the Mumbai Crime Branch said, "It is the most worrying category of street crime at the moment. Chain snatchers are usually good bikers and it is next to impossible for the cops to chase them. They just disappear and hence it is even difficult for the pedestrians to note their numbers."
Officials added that most of the cases had occurred at bus stops or at traffic signals and hence, they have posted constables at sensitive areas. However, an officer from Vakola police station voiced his helplessness.
"We are deployed with just a lathi. Though it instills some fear in criminals, at large, criminals remain undeterred."