Mumbai Crime: Vasai-Virar residents left furious, as car thieves strike fast

Updated: Dec 10, 2018, 21:08 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

The thieves, who are untraced so far, use a trick that could only make Fast and Furious character Dominic Toretto proud. They spray the lenses of CCTVs with black paint before they conduct their heists.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Palghar district seems to have become the new target for car thieves. In the past six months, more than 60 cars, including luxury vehicles such as a Toyota Innova, have been stolen from here. The thieves, who are untraced so far, use a trick that could only make Fast and Furious character Dominic Toretto proud. They spray the lenses of CCTVs with black paint before they conduct their heists. Most of these car thefts have occurred in Vasai, Nalasopara and Virar. Last week, locals claimed that there were complaints of around 5 to 6 Innova car thefts lodged with the Manikpur police station. 

Paint on CCTV

CCTV crime

According to police sources, the gang allegedly casually roam in a vehicle hunting for cars that they could steal. One of the members carefully scans the area for CCTV cameras around the spot, and upon finding any, sprays black paint on its lens. The perpetrator also covers his face with an umbrella.

The other gang members then use a master key and immediately flee with the car.

CCTV crime

“My Innova was parked in front of my house. On the morning of November 19, I saw found out it went missing. When I went to check the CCTV camera for footage, I found the lens was painted black. In the CCTV of a building nearby I saw a white Swift car arriving around 4 am. A person who concealed his face with an umbrella, stepped out of the vehicle and sprayed paint on the CCTV camera lens that was facing my car. After five minutes the men fled with my car,” said Chandrakant Mishra, 52, a resident of Sainagar, Vasai West.

When he went to Manickpur police station to lodge a complaint, he found that another Innova had been stolen from a nearby society. 

Dozens of cars stolen

CCTV crime

When Mishra took to a social media site to talk about his loss, people contacted him, saying that dozens of cars were stolen in Nalasopara, Naigaon, Vasai and Virar. A police official investigating the case said around 60 cars, most of them Innovas, have been stolen in the past five to six months from Palghar district.

Another resident of Sainagar, Bharat Patel, 39, had gone to Surat during Diwali when his car was stolen. Patel said, “My car was stolen on November 19 from near my building.”

A CCTV camera footage in the area has recorded the theft of his car. Police said the same accused who stole Mishra’s car are seen arriving in the white Swift and fleeing with the car. However, so far the police are clueless about the accused and the cars.

'Stolen for elections'

CCTV crime

“Car thefts are reported more during the election period when there is a huge demand for vehicles for publicity campaigns. Interstate car theft gangs become active and steal vehicles across India and sell them using fake documents and number plates,” said a police official.

CCTV crime

“It is true that for the past couple of months there has been an increase in vehicle thefts,” said Gaurav Singh, Palghar district SP. A special team has been formed to trace the accused, he added.

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