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    Mumbai: Beware of chain snatchers, cases increased!

    credit: Free Press Journal

    Residing in Mumbai, Beware of chain snatchers -cases increased! Recently Mumbai showed a rise of 60% in chain snatching cases. All you need to know:

    What statistics depicts?

    Statistics show that chain-snatching occurrences are becoming more common than they were before the outbreak. From January to the end of July, the city saw 131 chain-snatching occurrences. This was about 60% more than the 82 reported during the same period the previous year. In the first seven months of 2019, 91 chain-snatching occurrences were reported.

    However, the city witnessed 61 cases by the end of July the following year, when the pandemic raised its ugly head and lockdown restrictions were enforced, guaranteeing little movement of people and cars on the highways.

    Causes that might have led to increased cases

    The authorities have connected this increase to the easing of lockdown standards as well as the discharge of prominent chain-snatchers during the pandemic owing to jail congestion. Experts feel that the absence of strict measures implemented by the police in the past has also led to the recent surge of chain-snatching instances.

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    Previously, the Mumbai and Thane police would charge notorious offenders under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) and jail them for a few years. An official requesting anonymity states  ” When they are freed after two or three years, they resume their activities. This increased the number of incidents.” 

    credit: Local Press Co

    He stated that the habit of slapping chain-snatchers with MCOCA has recently decreased, which has bolstered their morale. According to the authorities, drug use has also been a driving factor. While some people engage in chain snatching to support their drug habit and affluent lifestyle, other police authorities report that chain snatchers are frequently drunk when they commit their crimes.

    Beware of chain snatchers


    Citizens have been warned by the police not to leave their homes without taking the essential safety measures. Early in the morning, when the roads are vacant, is when most chain-snatching occurrences take place, allowing the thieves to escape quickly on their bikes. Early walkers have been encouraged to remove, or at the very least, hide their heavy jewellery.

    Number of solved cases showed a hike too

    The police were able to solve 97 out of the 131 instances that had been reported by the end of July. This increased the detection rate, which reached its highest level of 74% in the previous five years. However, 2018 saw the lowest detection rate, with only 39 cases resolved out of the 74 reported in the first seven months of the year.

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    How these snatchers operate?

    Streetwise snatchers and chain-snatchers have improved after being exposed time and time again. The rider and his companion always make sure to wear helmets and masks when on a rampage, making it harder for the authorities to identify them. Most often, their cars are stolen, or they alter their license plates before committing crimes. To make it more difficult for the authorities to recognize them based just on their stance, they also wear coats.


    Chain snatchers used to operate alone, but they have recently been enlisting the aid of modest thieves. Mostly they prefer those who are familiar with the local geography and nakabandi sites. Even after identification, there is no certainty that the authorities will find a specific chain-snatcher. until he is caught red-handed.

    Why it’s challenging to capture them?


    An official says -“Irani Basti, Shanti Nagar, and Pirani regions of Ambivli are home to the majority of chain snatchers”. It is challenging to capture them in their own backyard, though. It is challenging to conduct raids there without telling the local police. Since the cops are always in danger of being attacked by the ladies. The officer said, “However, there is no assurance of — culprit will remain around by the time the police squad comes.” In addition, many chain-snatchers live in Titwala’s steep regions and rarely go home.

    Chain snatchers frequently operate in many locations while staying in just one. They dodged the local police radar as a result. One possibility is a combing operation. However, this calls for hundreds of police officers. Usually, to fence off an area before a raid so that nobody can flee. The majority of the time, chain snatchers give their spouses their loot, which they subsequently sell to jewellers.

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