R. Rajaram explains how thieves are targeting independent houses in some ‘crime-prone’ areas
Burglars appear to have a free run in the Tiruchi’s peripheral areas if the string of house break-ins reported in quick successions over the last few days is any indication.
The ease with which burglars have struck at locked houses and looted valuables has thrown a challenge to the police.
Over the last fortnight, five houses in Somarasampet were targeted, one each in Bikshandarkoil and Lalgudi besides a house at Puthur in Tiruchi.
The quality of gold jewellery looted by the culprits exceeds 130 sovereigns; more than Rs. 3 lakh in cash; over seven kg of silver articles besides a laptop and a CD player. Among the series of burglaries over the past few days, the one committed at the house of an owner of restaurant chain near Puthur within the city and in the residence of a retired sub-inspector near Bikshandarkoil stand out in terms of the value of the loot.
The former police officer was asleep on the terrace when the culprits sneaked into the house and walked away with 60 sovereigns of gold jewellery, 750 grams of silver articles and Rs. 50,000 cash. The restaurant owner was away in Rameswaram when burglars struck taking away nearly 50 sovereigns of gold jewellery, a little over Rs.2 in cash and over seven kilograms of silver articles.
Another victim was a high-ranking officer in the Forest Department from whose house in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar along the Vayalur Road burglars stole nine sovereigns of gold jewellery and Rs. 20,000 cash when she was away in Chennai.
Somarasampet and Kollidam areas on the city’s borders have been witness to mushrooming residential localities over the past few years requiring increased patrolling. Independent houses have been the targets of the burglars. Recent offences were all reported in individual houses falling under Somarasampet and Kollidam police stations.
In one of the house break-ins, criminals were smart enough to wear gloves to commit the crime so that they did not leave any fingerprint, say police sources. Police are yet to get any clue in all these cases.
Stung by the slew of burglaries, the Tiruchi Rural police has decided to deploy police personnel on motorcycles to patrol Somarasampet and Kollidam areas. Bike patrolling would be done in several localities in shifts — one during day time and another at night by constables in turns.
Property offences, including house break-ins and vehicle thefts, have been reported in places identified as “crime prone” by the police.
K.K. Nagar, Woraiyur, Srirangam, Karumandapam, and some areas in Cantonment have been classified as “crime prone.”
Offences have been reported in city limits notwithstanding the presence of bike patrolling codenamed ‘Alpha’ teams. In a bid to prevent such offences, the city police, on their part, have proposed to conduct meetings with residential associations soon to sensitise residents to the precautionary measures they needed to follow before going out of the city leaving the houses unguarded.
In the wake of such offences, the City Police in a press release issued on Tuesday appealed to the residents to call 100 and inform the control room giving their complete address before going out keeping their homes locked. But such requests from the police in the past have evoked lukewarm response from the city residents. The police obviously need to do much more to instil confidence among residents and fear among burglars.