Laiqh A. Khan

At least 35 cases reported during the last six months

The police have not been able to arrest anyone

MYSORE: Sixty-year-old Sharadamma had just finished her prayers at Shankar Math here at about 8.30 a.m. on Monday and was walking back to her house in nearby Sunnadakeri when a youth snatched her gold chain weighing 50 grams and took to his heels. A shocked Ms. Sharadamma could do little, but ask the passers-by to catch the culprit. By the time, the public could react to the alarm raised by her, the youth had disappeared into the labyrinthine bylanes.

Though the local residents chased the youth in motorcycles and a car, the culprit managed to escape.

“Garuda,” the police patrol vehicle that arrived at the spot a few minutes later, could only recover the chain snatcher’s cap that had fallen off while he was fleeing.

About a week ago, a college student Mahalakshmi was walking back to her house in Yadavgiri at about 2.30 p.m. after her classes when two motorcycle-borne youths snatched her gold chain weighing 12 grams and fled.

These are not isolated incidents. At least 35 such were reported in Mysore during the last six months, causing concern among the city police officials.

Not a single chain-snatching incident reported in the period has been cracked and the police have not been able to arrest any of the culprits.

“The nature of the crime is such that the culprits do not leave behind any clue. We suspect the culprits to be habitual chain-snatchers who commit the crime for easy money. Once they commit the crime, they do not repeat it at least for a year,” Police Commissioner Parashivamurthy told The Hindu.

The police were trying their best to curb the menace and were working on various strategies, including roping in youths owning motorcycles in various localities, to chase the chain-snatchers, he said.

Plan of action

“We have received good response from the youth owning motorcycles. We will shortly have a plan of action in place to nab the chain-snatchers soon after they commit the crime,” he said.

V.S. D’Souza, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Mysore, ruled out the possibility of an organised gang behind the chain-snatching incidents. Though the exact number of chain-snatching incidents during the last six months was not available, Mr. D’Souza said nearly 35 cases could have been registered during the period. The average weight of gold chains snatched could be about 20 to 30 gm, he added.