While Mumbai was busy welcoming, celebrating and finally immersing Lord Ganpati, there were some who had a field day carrying out their petty crimes.
The most recent example was a mobile thief who was caught at Andheri railway station on Monday by the special Railway Police Force (RPF) team that was formed specifically days before the Ganesh festival.
In all, 46 people have been arrested in September itself on both Central and Western Railways.
The RPF arrested people involved in mobile thefts, chain snatching and pick pocketing. On the CR, the most recent one was on September 27, when the RPF apprehended a man, named Paresh Mudgal (19), who stays near Kopri Bridge.
"A lady complained at Thane station that a man snatched her mobile phone while she was traveling between Airoli and Thane near the bridge. She later identified this man who has now been handed over to the GRP," said S Bhalode, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Mumbai), Central Railway.
She was apparently standing on the footboard when Mudgal snatched her phone from a moving train.
Sources said that there are nearly 34 black spots – areas between two stations where thieves normally stand on the pole and hit commuters traveling with an intention of looting them – on the suburban section.
Similarly at Andheri station, another thief, Ayub Khan, was caught by RPF on Monday morning. Sources said that he was seen picking the pocket of and stealing a mobile phone from a commuter who was climbing the escalator on platforms 4-5 of the station.
“Our men who acted as decoys and were in civil uniform saw suspicious activity. They caught him red handed,” said AV Jha, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Mumbai), Western Railway.
But the number of people caught is far less than the actual incidents of crime since many people don’t come forward to register a complaint in case of a mobile theft or pick pocketing. However, only in case of chain snatching do they complain or are forced as it is very valuable. Several times there are cases where thieves are caught with the loot but there is no complainant and so they are let off easily.
Cases in September 2015
Western Railways Central Railways
Mobile 9 8
Pick-pocketing 9 5
Chain snatching 1 2
Others 2 10