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Fort plagued by vehicle thefts

Updated on: 11 May,2011 06:20 AM IST  | 
Poornima Swaminathan |

Cops step up vigil after as many as 25 four-wheelers, 10 two-wheelers were stolen in a two-month span

Fort plagued by vehicle thefts


Cops step up vigil after as many as 25 four-wheelers, 10 two-wheelers were stolen in a two-month span

Residents of the upmarket Fort area have been losing sleep over a spurt in the number of motor vehicle thefts in their neighbourhood. An organised, well-oiled syndicate seems to be behind the disappearance of at least 25 two-wheelers and 10 four-wheelers, all of which have been stolen in a span of two months. Most of the stolen vehicles belonged to residents and office-goers, who park their vehicles on the streets because most buildings in the area do not have a parking lot. Incidentally, the area from which the vehicles were stolen is barely a few minutes away from the offices of the deputy commissioner of police and the assistant commissioner of police of the area.
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Nicknames
Following are the nicknames for cars in the lingo of car thieves, which emerged through the interrogation of some of them:
Wagon R: Baingan
Zen: Jambul
Indica: India
Santro: Santra
Qualis: Coolie


A fortnight ago, Sunil Phondekar, a civil contractor, left home in the morning to drop his daughter to school. He was shocked to see his SUV missing from the spot where he had parked it. He rushed to the MRA Marg police station. "Soon after I registered the complaint, I found out that several other cars had been stolen from the area recently," said Phondekar.

Alarmed at the thefts, the MRA Marg police has stepped up vigil in the neighbourhood. "After receiving several complaints, we are laying traps in the area and have intensified patrolling during the night as most of the vehicles were stolen in the cover of darkness," said Senior Police Inspector Padmakar Juikar of the MRA Marg police. Officials have also sought the residents' help in this by asking them to stay alert and report suspicious behaviour.

Explaining the modus operandi of car thieves, a police officer said that a stolen vehicle is registered in another RTO, usually in Indore and Rajasthan, under a new owner's name. Many of the stolen vehicles are also smuggled into neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Ingenious
In an unprecedented case, a 65-year-old driver dropped off his employer at his office in Ballard Pier last month and got out of the car for a few minutes, only to find the keys missing when he came u00a0back. After a brief search, he asked the car's owner for the duplicate keys and parked u00a0the car in his Chunabhatti house. A week later, the person who had stolen the keys traced the owner's residence, conned the watchman into believing that he was supposed to pick up the car's owner and drove off with it. A manhunt has been launched for the thief.




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