Chain-snatching incidents are at an all-time high as the city witnessed nine separate crimes in the past two days. While six incidents took place on Monday, three took place yesterday.
Gold chains and mangalsutras amounting to more than Rs 5 lakh was snatched by bike-borne thieves. On Monday, six incidents took place at Sahakarnagar, Kothrud, Katraj, Warje, Nigdi, Sangvi, while two incidents took place at Vishrambaug and one at Kondhwa yesterday. The chain snatching incidents took place at 9.15 am, 9.45 am and 11.15 am respectively. The incident at Nigdi and Sangvi took place at 10.30 am and 11.15 am, while the rest occurred between 5 pm and 8 pm.
The police comprising officials from the Anti-Dacoity Squad and Crime Branch have increased patrolling in these areas. Officials in civil clothes have also been deployed to keep watch on suspicious movements. A Crime Branch official requesting anonymity, said that since most of the incidents took place in the surrounding suburbs, during a short span of time, they suspect that the thieves had planned various 'hits'.
"We believe that most of the accused hail from districts such as Ahmadnagar and Solapur, suggesting that they come to the city on particular days and immediately return after committing the crime. We therefore suspect that two different set of gangs behind the thefts," he said.
The city had seen a lull in chain snatching incidents since early November after two major arrests, one of an inter-state gang and the other where the chain snatchers were natives of Uttar Pradesh and Ahmednagar. They latter gang was arrested by the Sahakarnagar police. Police had also nabbed Shamsuddin alias Imran Abdul Sayed from Hyderabad after he was arrested and transferred to the city.