A series of burglaries, some of them daring, has thrown up questions about police patrolling in Tiruchi

Recurring property crimes, especially burglaries and robberies on the city’s peripheral areas, seem to have seriously dented the policing mechanism.

After a slew of burglaries reported in Somarasampet and Kollidam, the latest targets of the criminals were areas falling within the Tiruverambur police station limits on the city’s outskirts.

The chain of house break-ins and chain snatchings in the thickly populated residential localities in Tiruverambur limits over the past few days has caused serious concern among the citizenry.

The daring manner in which culprits have struck at will in quick successions has raised apprehensions among public over the efficacy of patrolling.

Residential localities such as Vignesh Nagar, Amman Nagar, Thiruvenkata Nagar and Jothi Nagar — all falling under Tiruverambur police station jurisdiction — were the recent targets of the criminals.

In some cases, culprits were audacious enough to strike at houses even when the inmates were present.

A classic instance is a burglary committed in a house at Vignesh Nagar a few days ago.

The complainant in this case was fast asleep with her little daughters in an air-conditioned room when burglars sneaked into the house by removing the window and took away 60 sovereigns of gold, silver articles, and cash amounting to Rs. 1 lakh.

In another case, culprits made away with nearly 19 sovereigns of gold jewels and six kg of silver articles from a house at Amman Nagar.

The police say five house break-ins and a couple of chain-snatchings were reported in quick successions over the past few days in Tiruverambur police station limits that has vast areas to cover within its jurisdiction.

Tiruverambur and its nearby areas have seen a rapid rise in residential localities over the past few years. Independent houses have come about in extended areas situated in interior places. Though regular beats were being marched and patrolling carried out in various areas, police sources, however, say that the Tiruverambur sub-division as a whole was plagued by severe manpower shortage.

The sub division encompasses Tiruverambur, Thuvakudi, BHEL, Navalpattu, and Manikandam police stations.

Many police personnel attached to the Tiruverambur police station, classified under the “heavy police station” category, are working on OD (other duty) basis in various units also leading to shortfall, say sources.

Although probe was on into the recent burglaries and chain-snatching cases, investigators were yet to get hold of concrete clues that would enable them to zero in on the criminals.

Patrolling mechanism in Tiruverambur, Kattur, and other areas was being managed with existing strength, say the sources and added that many mother villages and hamlets come under the Tiruverumbur police station limits.

Police said the onus was on the public to safeguard their jewellery and other valuables by keeping them in lockers.

In the end of 2012, a comprehensive proposal was forwarded to the State government through the office of the Director-General of Police by the Police Commissionerate recommending that the police stations in peripheral areas, including Tiruverambur, Navalpattu, Somarasampettai, and Ramji Nagar be attached with the Commissionerate. That proposal is, however, pending sanction from the State government.

Combing operation

Stung by the series of burglaries, a combing operation was conducted in Tiruverambur police station limits on Tuesday to check crimes and look out for old criminals.

With additional strength drawn from the Armed Reserve, the operation that lasted several hours covered many areas including Gandhi Nagar, Ezhil Nagar, Amman Nagar, Nethaji Nagar and Burma Colony.

Vehicle checks were conducted as part of the operation during which some pickpockets and suspects were picked up.

In addition to that, awareness campaign was conducted in various places in Tiruverambur area over the past few days sensitising public to the precautionary measures they needed to take to thwart offences, say the police.