Hyderabad

Five-pronged strategy to check chain snatching

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After arming the constables with short weapons, police have been successful in instilling a fear among the offenders. inter-State gangs operating in the city.

Vast jurisdiction spread over 3,600 sq km, many isolated stretches and limited constabulary are the main reasons for high number of chain snatchings in Cyberabad. The Cyberabad police have adopted a five-pronged strategy to check the menace. It includes, awareness programmes for women, forming anti-chain snatching teams, ensuring conviction to the offenders, keeping a tab on local offenders and apprehending inter-State gangs operating in the city.

“Till now our anti-snatching teams have managed to arrest four different gangs who were operating in our area. On one occasion, the police opened fire when they came under attack by a two member gang. All possible actions are being taken to check the problem,” Cyberabad Commissioner C.V. Anand said.

In the year 2013, a total of 1,026 chain snatching cases were reported while in the following year the number was 744. This year, till date, around 330 chain snatchings were reported. “It is true that chain snatchers have terrified women. But we have been successful in instilling a fear among chain snatchers. After the policemen were armed with short weapons, they are under constant fear,” Mr. Anand told.

Property offenders from North Indian States are also eyeing the city as women in the south wear more gold than in other parts of the country. “The professional snatchers study the festivals and marriage season. They do a lot of research before descending on the city and committing offences,” DCP (Crimes) Cyberabad B. Naveen Kumar explained.

This year, the city has witnessed two new modus operandi adopted by the chain snatchers. While earlier the chain snatchers targeted woman walking alone on the streets, a few offenders grabbed gold chains from women pillion riding on two-wheelers.

For the first time, a gang from Maharashtra came to the city along with motorcycles in a DCM van. After parking the DCM, they moved around the city, snatched gold chains and left in the same DCM to another city. However, they were caught in Nizamabad.

“Earlier, inter-State gangs came by trains or buses. Took their two-wheelers parked at bus and railway stations and went on committing chain snatchings in the city and left. In a few cases the gangs bought second-hand two-wheelers and abandoned the vehicles,” a police official said.

Be watchful

In 90 per cent of the cases the professional chain snatchers do a recce before striking. When they spot a woman walking alone, they drive past her, ensure that it is a safe for them to snatch the chain and then take a u turn and grab the gold chain.

When going to attend any function, it is advisable that the women keep the jewellery in a bag and wear it at the function place. Professional chain snatchers mostly use Pulsar or CBZ motorcycles.

IRANI GANGS INVOVLED IN

Pseudo police: They stand at isolated places posing as policemen and target women after saying that robbers are on the prowl. Pretending to help them, they keep the jewellery ‘safely’ in a bag and take it away by diverting attention.

Attention diversion: Standing near banks and financial institutions, they divert the attention of a person by pointing out Rs. 10 currency notes lying on the road. When the victim goes to pick them, they snatch away his cash bag and escape.

Chain snatching: The gang now graduated to chain snatching. Gang members come to the city at regular intervals, strike at a few places and leave within hours.

In expansion mode: The gangs have now spread to other places like Guntakal, Bidar, Bhiwandi, Mumbai, Pune (Maharashtra), Delhi, Bhopal and Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh).

“The Irani gang is well connected and they come together to commit crimes. After committing the offences, they leave the place and go back to their native places. Now the gang members are frequently shifting to new towns and cities in order to avoid police surveillance,” Cyberabad DCP (Crimes) B Naveen Kumar.

Chain snatching an easy job

Unlike burglaries, robberies or dacoities, chain snatching is an easy job. A professional snatcher can whisk away with a gold chain in around five seconds. Moreover, there is no fear of getting caught as the victim is in a state of shock and it takes to react. The prices of gold have increased and even students are committing chain snatchings for easy money.

Exchange value

Jewellers who purchase gold chains from snatchers pay half the value of the gold chain. It means for two tolas of gold they pay just Rs. 25,000.

Hot spots

Chaitanyapuri, L.B. Nagar, Vanasthalipuram, Uppal, KPHB, Kukatpally, Rajendranagar, Meerpet, Saroornagar and Medipally.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:35:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/fivepronged-strategy-to-check-chain-snatching/article7905897.ece

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