594 vehicles stolen last year, police recover only 142
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).