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Thieves ride away on cops' bikes

Five bikes belonging to policemen stolen from outside Pune railway station in last four months

A series of bike thefts in the last four months outside the Pune railway station, in which at least five motorcycles belonging to the police were stolen, has left the law-enforcers scratching their heads. Police officials from the Pune railway station Government Railway Police (GRP) said the bikes were stolen from the two-wheeler parking area, which was earlier reserved for military, police and government vehicles. Since January, six vehicles belonging to civilians were also stolen, an official said. 


Spot of bother: The no-parking area right in front of the Pune railway
station. In the last few months, several bike thefts have occurred in
this area. P
ic/Krunal Gosavi


The place was closed to parking by the former Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Manoj Patil and a 'No Parking' board was also put up. Officials said that many still parked their vehicles there, as the paid parking lot nearby was always packed and perceived to be costly. The police too were loth to take action against offenders, as even policemen parked their vehicles in the no parking zone.

A GRP official said not a single theft had occurred in the paid parking lot in the last six months. The police have stepped up night patrols at the station and are also keeping a close watch on the parking area. One of the bikes stolen belonged to a constable posted with the Pune railway station who has now been transferred.
Another bike, a TVS Apache, belonging to a constable from the city on his way to Delhi, was stolen on September 17. The bike was parked for five days, before it was stolen.

A policeman whose bike was stolen said he had filed a complaint the very same day with the GRP. "I had to rush to board my train and had parked my bike hurriedly. I was shocked to find it stolen the next day. I filed a complaint, but it has not been found," he said. Another bike, a Hero Honda Passion, belonging to an inspector, was stolen last month.  He too was out of town. "We have limited manpower and have requested policemen and civilians going out of station not to park their bikes on the spot," said Inspector Mahendra Bakade from
the GRP.

'Owners careless'
The last civilian theft was in September, when a city-registered Bajaj Pulsar was stolen around 11 pm. A traffic policeman said that despite warnings, people parked their vehicles on the restricted zone, sometimes leaving the keys in the ignition. "A railway ticket examiner forgot the keys in his Honda Activa on Sunday around 6.30 pm. He had parked the bike and when he returned after an hour, he found it missing. After approaching me, he remembered about the keys," said the constable. Another constable complained that people defied their directions outright, saying they were taxpayers and could park wherever they wanted. Three two-wheelers belonging to defence officers were also stolen, he said.

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