Downtown

CBI Colony: Don’t be misled by the name

Unwanted presence: The calm residential locality is deserted most of the time, making it easy for thieves to spy on the houses and the movement of residents. Photo: M. Karunakaran   | Photo Credit: M_Karunakaran

CBI Colony. The name may give you a sense of security. If recent incidents are anything to go by, it should be a false sense of security.



This colony in Kandanchavadi, which has around 20 residents who work with the CBI, is increasingly targeted by petty thieves. Some residents have lost their money. Some others, other valuables.



Recently, thieves broke into a beauty parlour on Second Cross Street and left with a pen drive and Rs. 400. In another incident, the motor of a JCB machine was stolen.



A few other residents found out that petrol from their cars had been stolen.



“A majority of the thefts are petty in nature and most residents don’t bother to complaint to the police because of the hassle involved. This is perhaps why the number of such incidents is on the rise,” says an officer with the CBI, who is resident of the colony.



The nature of the thefts has also been such that department officials, who are involved in cracking serious crimes and residing here, are surprised themselves. Last year, when thieves broke open into a tenant’s house they stole the cash and left the laptop behind.



The colony got its name after the CBI Housing Society purchased land in 2001. Once officers and staff started occupying the area from 2003, the locality was renamed CBI Colony from Lakshmana Nagar.



In the early years nearly 150 staff of the department including top officials used to reside here.



“It commanded a sense of security. But, many moved out gradually and started letting it out to tenants. Now, the colony has some 20 officers and staff,” says a long-time resident of the area.



The calm residential colony with many independent houses is spread across seven cross streets. Most of the houses do not have security personnel. The streets are deserted, which makes it easy for thieves to spy on a house, say residents.



The once active CBI Colony Police Officers Association is defunct.



Some officials are unsure if CCTV will help as they are familiar with cases were thieves first damage the hard drive where the footages appear before breaking into a house.



The department members have requested the Thoraipakkam police to increase patrolling in the colony.



“Measures such as reviving night patrolling by residents and appointing at least one security personnel for a street are a few steps we can think of doing if more people come forward,” says Rajan Chandrashekharan.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:02:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/cbi-colony-dont-be-misled-by-the-name/article6429524.ece

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