They track the movement of unsuspecting women before committing the crime

They strike in the morning, afternoon and between seven and nine in the evening. Chain snatchers are keeping residents, particularly women, on tenterhooks in the city. Even after days since the incident took place, many victims fear to recall the dreadful moments.

“It all happened in front of me. My wife was returning home and just yards away from home, two motorcycle-born miscreants snatched gold chains and sped away,” recollects K. Bakkaiah, a resident of Netaji Nagar Colony in Attapur.

About four such incidents were reported in this colony in the last couple of years. While one was reported near Hanuman temple, another at Municipal Park and the latest at the Colony entrance.

It's close to three months. A woman was returning home from office at about 7 p.m. and even as she was entering the colony, driving a bike, two offenders arrived from behind and snatched her chain. It was shocking, says B. Sankaraiah, a member of Netaji Nagar Colony.

Offenders definitely scout the area before striking. They track the movements of unsuspecting women, when they venture out either for morning walk or to purchase vegetables. Places near temples are also turning out to be easy options for snatchers, he explains.

“It all happens in seconds. Shell-shocked, victims usually fail to note the bike number,” says Mr. Sankaraiah.

This scenario is not confined to one particular locality in the city. N.S. Narayana, general secretary of Ayodhya Nagar Colony in Rethibowli says that offenders have snatched a chain from an elderly woman while she was drawing rangoli in front of her home.

“It's tough to suspect or keep an eye on such guys. They arrive from nowhere and commit the offence in a moment,” says Mr. Narayana.

Strike at elderly people

Depending on the locality and situation, offenders strike with new methods and mostly target elderly people.

In some cases, offenders strike even at traffic signals. One offender waits at other side of the road and soon as one snatches the chain and crosses the road, they sped away.

N.S.R Murthy, a senior citizen from Bolarum, says that he was walking with his wife on the Alwal-Bolarum main road recently. And one of the two youngsters, riding a bike, hit him from behind and tried to snatch gold chain from his wife. “Luckily, my wife bent down to assist me and they could not snatch ornaments. But what strikes me most is the ease with which these offenders escape. It leaves many dumbstruck,” says Mr. Murthy.

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