Mumbai: IC Colony residents form watch group after serial robberies

Updated: 14 September, 2020 08:01 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Series of snatchings and house breaks last week force Borivli neighbourhood to take matters into their own hands

Decision on steps to curb thefts in the area was taken at a meeting  held on Saturday
Decision on steps to curb thefts in the area was taken at a meeting held on Saturday

A spike in house thefts and chain and phone snatching incidents in IC Colony in Borivli and surrounding areas has got the locals worried and now they have come together to form a watch group that would help the cops prevent such incidents in the area. In a meeting held on Saturday among residents, the local police and a former corporator, a long list of measures that both the residents and the police could take was decided.

It was decided that watchmen would maintain vigil on streets at night, CCTV cameras and alarms would be installed and details of cops on night duty would be shared daily on a common WhatsApp group.

A CCTV grab shows robbers entering a house in IC Colony
A CCTV grab shows robbers entering a house in IC Colony

The decision comes ahead of three house thefts in just a week, of which two happened in the same night. However, the third one was just an attempt because a neighbour spotted the robbers and immediately alerted others.

'Never experienced this'

"We have been staying here since 1980 but have never experienced issues like these," said Parpetual DCosta from Jamuna CHSL in IC Colony where one of the robberies happened. The robbers decamped with Rs 25,000 cash from her ground-floor flat. They had entered the apartment after cutting the window grill of one of the bedrooms. "It's scary to think that someone entered my house while I was asleep. I could have been hurt if I was awake," said DCosta, who was alone at home that night.
Another incident happened at a locked apartment, from where Rs 1 lakh was stolen.

Robbers cut the grill of a bedroom window of Parpetual Dcosta's house to get in and decamp with cash
Robbers cut the grill of a bedroom window of Parpetual Dcosta's house to get in and decamp with cash

"The residents were at their farmhouse outside Mumbai. Due to the lockdown, many people have moved to their hometowns or other places. As cops are busy with COVID-19 duty and some are even fighting the disease, we decided to help them deal with such incidents," said former corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar, who conducted the meeting.

Senior police inspector of MHB police station, Pandit Thakare, said in the meeting, "House thefts have increased in the area. Two such incidents happened at IC Colony in the same night."

Meeting held

Decision regarding a number of steps to curb such incidents was taken at the meeting. While some housing societies have security guards, the smaller ones cannot afford them. So it was decided that one watchman from a particular building on a street would keep vigil in that area. If he spots any suspicious activity, he would inform the local police. Contact details of the officers on night duty would be shared daily on a WhatsApp group, which includes the former corporator, secretaries of housing societies and local police as members. "The idea is not to wait for the police to arrive after calling 100 but instead get a swift response from them," said Ghosalkar, who has also decided to help install CCTV cameras at a number of buildings.

Rs 25k
Amount in cash robbers stole from an IC Colony house

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First Published: 14 September, 2020 07:32 IST

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