594 ve­hi­cles stolen last year, po­lice re­cover only 142

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUM­BAI: Even as the Navi Mum­bai po­lice are pat­ting their backs be­cause they achieved a 7% in­crease in the con­vic­tion rate in 2015 over 2014, the sta­tis­tics of stolen ve­hi­cles tell a dif­fer­ent story.

Ac­cord­ing to the an­nual crime re­port, 594 ve­hi­cles were stolen from the satel­lite city last year. The po­lice man­aged to re­cover only 142 of them, which is 24% of the to­tal ve­hi­cles stolen.

In 2014, a to­tal of 654 ve­hi­cles were stolen from the city, and the po­lice re­cov­ered 169 of them. Last year most of the ve­hi­cle theft cases were re­ported in Vashi, Kharghar, Nerul and Pan­vel. “Most of the ve­hi­cles stolen in 2015 were two-wheel­ers. A to­tal of 411 twowheel­ers were stolen be­tween Jan­uary and De­cem­ber and we re­cov­ered 103 of them,” said Dilip Sawant, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (crime).

“En­sur­ing safety of ve­hi­cles and in­creas­ing the de­tec­tion rate will be one of our pri­or­i­ties this year,” he added.

The po­lice sus­pect that a gang of seven to 15 peo­ple is in­volved in steal­ing four- wheel­ers, and they carry out the theft with much plan­ning.

Al­most all ve­hi­cles re­cov­ered l ast year were f ound ei­ther in the re­mote ar­eas of Maharashtra or in the neigh­bour­ing states. In some cases, the stolen ve­hi­cles had been used by the cul­prits in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties such as chain snatch­ing and rob­beries.

“Sev­eral gangs of car thieves f rom Ra­jasthan, Gu­jarat, Pun­jab and Bi­har are ac­tive in the city. The gangs steal cars from the city and sell them in the ru­ral ar­eas of those states af­ter chang­ing the num­ber plates,” said Ajit Shinde, as­sis­tant po­lice in­spec­tor from the crime branch.

“They mostly tar­get SUVs, as the roads in the ru­ral ar­eas of their states are not in good con­di­tion,” said Shinde.

The po­lice said that blam­ing them for thefts is not jus­ti­fied.

“Peo­ple now spend lakhs of ru­pees for pur­chas­ing a new car, but when it comes to the safety of that car, they ex­pect only the po­lice to pro­tect it. They hes­i­tate even to spend a few thou­sand ru­pees for in­stalling proper locks and GPRS sys­tems in their cars,” said Suresh Men­gade, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (spe­cial branch).

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