Chain-snatchers skip Mumbai, target Palghar
As compared to 60 cases last year, 98 chain-snatching incidents have been reported in Vasai division till August this year
Even though the Mumbai police have managed to curb the number of chain-snatching incidents in the city through increased patrolling and surveillance, the culprits have now started targeting the neighbouring Palghar district. According to the Palghar police, as compared to 60 such cases reported last year, 98 incidents have been reported in the Vasai division till August this year.
Vasai — the main target
A senior police officer from Mumbai said, "The bike-borne chain snatchers are mainly targeting people in the Vasai division, which includes Vasai, Nalasopara and Virar areas. They don't come to Mumbai anymore as they are scared of getting caught."
Vijaykant Sagar, additional SP, Vasai division, said, "Chain-snatching cases have almost doubled in Vasai division. Virar is the worst affected with 46 cases this year. We are taking steps to curb the incidents." According to the police, the miscreants usually target middle-aged and elderly women near residential complexes, religious places and crowded markets. The cops have already identified the vulnerable spots and sensitised their team members to increase patrolling in the areas. In view of the upcoming festive season, the police have also asked women to be more alert. They are also in the process of asking the local court to extern repeat offenders.
"We are increasing nakabandi and patrolling at vulnerable spots. We have also written to the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation to install more CCTV cameras for better surveillance," added Sagar.
Speaking about increasing surveillance, Sagar said, "We are appealing to residents, shop owners and housing societies to install CCTV cameras facing the approaching roads. If surveillance is increased on roads, then it'll act as a deterrent for the offenders. Also, it will help us in detecting crimes." The cops have reached out to jewellers as well, asking them to inform the police if anybody tries to sell jewellery without receipts.
Talking about the importance of reporting cases at the earliest, Sagar said, "If the incidents are reported immediately to the nearest police station, it'll help us in detecting them fast. Victims can reach out to us at the control room."
Cases in Vasai division (January - August, 2018)
11 Cases in Palghar division till Aug this year
60 Cases in Vasai division during Jan-Aug 2017
74 No. of cases reported in Mumbai during Jan-Aug 2018
(Source: Palghar police)
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