90% of the four-wheelers stolen last year were of that colour, says Mumbai police; many are later used in election campaigns
White may be soothing to the eye, but according to Mumbai police, car owners should steer clear of the colour as much as possible. That's because white four-wheelers are most popular with thieves. In fact, around 90 per cent of the cars, which were stolen last year, were of that colour. 4,702 vehicles were swiped in the city in 2011, including both four and two-wheelers. Chevrolet Taveras, Mahindra Scorpios, Mahindra Boleros and Hyundai Santros were clearly the most sought after. Among two-wheelers, Bajaj Pulsars, Hero Honda Splendors and Hero Honda Passions found favour.
"Ninety per cent of the four-wheelers stolen were white in colour," said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime). "These vehicles are mostly lifted and taken to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states where polls are to be held. Here they are often used by local leaders for campaigning," he added.
The figure of 4,702 auto-lifting cases in 2011 is up from 4,167 vehicle thefts the previous year. Police have managed to make arrests and have recovered around 1,193 vehicles. City cops are now in the process of writing to major automobile companies like Bajaj, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Chevrolet and Mahindra, requesting them to look into the issue of security. "We will take their suggestions and make recommendations to them about measures that can be taken," said Roy.
Mumbai police is also coming out with a dedicated squad that will look exclusively into cases of vehicle theft, which have been on the rise.
Crime in 2011
The total number of cases registered last year under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) went down to 32,191 (it was 33,645 in 2010). Region-wise in Mumbai, the Western suburbs topped crime rates, followed by Central, East, North and South.
Murders: 202 murder cases were reported in 2011 of which 185 were solved; in 2010, 207 out of 227 murder cases reported were worked out. 16 senior citizens were killed -- 5 by relatives, 8 by known persons and 3 by unknown persons. "People known to the victims like their son, grandson or a neighbour carried out most of these killings. This raises less of a policing and more of a social question. In New York, which has the same population as Mumbai, around 2,400 murders took place in 2011," pointed out commissioner of police Arup Patnaik.
Rape: 219 rape cases were reported in the city in 2011, of which about 100 were carried out by persons known to the victims. 65 of these were caused by persons who approached the victims on the pretext of marriage, 26 by neighbours, 13 by unknown people, 6 by family or parents and 9 by relatives.
Other cases: Cases of house break-ins during the day, attempted murders and robberies increased, while chain-snatching cases dropped from 2,044 in 2010 to 1,666 last year.
It's a steal!
Details of vehicles stolen last year:
133 Mahindra Scorpios
106 Mahindra Boleros
106 Hyundai Santros
67 Chevrolet Taveras
62 Tata Indicas
61 Maruti 800s
52 Maruti Esteems
52 Toyota Qualises
37 Honda Citys
512 Bajaj Pulsars
351 Hero Honda Splendors
215 Honda Activas
193 Hero Honda Passions
164 Honda Unicorns
151 Bajaj Discovers