135 vehicles have been stolen from Mumbai and taken to UP in last 20 days
With the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections nearing, demand for vehicles is on the rise. And more and more of them are being stolen from Mumbai
Chevrolet Tavera, Maruti Suzuki Swift VDI and Dzire, Toyota Innova and Mahindra’s Scorpio and Bolero top the list of stolen vehicles. Representation pics
With the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly elections nearing, demand for vehicles is on the rise. And more and more of them are being stolen from Mumbai.
According to information available with the Mumbai police, in the last 20 days about 135 vehicles were stolen from the city and taken to UP for the election campaign. Chevrolet Tavera, Maruti Suzuki Swift VDI and Dzire, Toyota Innova and Mahindra’s Scorpio and Bolero top the list of stolen vehicles.
The vehicles are mainly picked up from areas like Charkop, Dindoshi, MIDC, Kandivli and Malad in the western suburbs, and Mulund, Bhandup and Kanjurmarg in the eastern suburbs. “The thieves can easily access the highways from these areas. Once they are out of Mumbai, the vehicle is handed over to another person, who then takes it to UP. The thieves usually conduct a recce between 11 pm and 2 am and pick up the vehicles between 3 am and 5 am,” said a senior police officer.
“As high-end vehicles like have upgraded locking systems, it’s impossible to steal them. So they mainly target those that can easily be broken into,” said the police officer, adding, “Most of the accused hail from Pratapgarh. They are well versed with the operating systems of vehicles, as they are either mechanics or diploma holders in motor vehicle studies.”
Gujarat and Bihar as well
A senior officer told mid-day that Gujarat and Bihar have a high demand for vehicles that can be used to transport illegal liquor. “If a particular vehicle makes a number of trips, it comes on the radar of security agencies and hence needs to be changed. As the dealers keep on changing vehicles, they are always on the lookout for cheaper ones. These are usually bought from people who steal vehicles from Mumbai,” he added.
In 2015, 3,324 vehicles were stolen from the city. Of them, 997 were recovered by a special cell formed by the Mumbai Police and motor vehicles department. But this year till October 2,658 vehicles have been stolen, of which only 672 have been recovered.
“Detection is less as the number plates are immediately changed once the vehicles leave the state. Once the complainants get the insurance claim, they don’t bother to follow up either,” said a cop from the specialised motor vehicles department.
A police officer said, “We keep an eye on the Dahisar and Mulund toll naka to check for any suspicious movements. We also coordinate with the police of other states. We also spread awareness about the use of GPS systems and different kinds of locks to avoid such incidents.”
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