Robbery and snatching of gold ornaments on Mumbai trains have emerged as the biggest concern for the Government Railway Police (GRP) with 480 cases recorded in just 10 months (January to October 2013) in which jewellery worth Rs1.41 crore was stolen.
The statistics was recently provided by the Mumbai Government Railway Police.
With soaring gold prices, pickpockets and mobile thieves have switched to a more lucrative crime.
“Criminals who used to steal mobile phones or indulged in pickpocketing have now started snatching gold chains,” said a police officer from Kurla railway police station.
He added that out of total 480 cases, the Mumbai railway police succeeded in detecting 290 cases and recovering stolen ornaments worth Rs52.27 lakh. This means the police have succeeded in detecting only 39% cases.
He said that in 2012 (January to December), gold ornaments worth more than Rs1.80 crore were snatched on local trains in the 517 cases of robbery and snatching registered.
The GRP succeeded in solving 331 cases and recovered stolen ornaments worth Rs80.79 lakh.
The railway police managed to solve only 36% such cases.
Pickpocketing and mobile thefts are no longer considered lucrative for two main reasons — commuters have started carrying bank credit and debit cards instead of cash. Most of the mobile phones can be easily traced.
The Thane railway police on April 19, 2011, arrested Ashok Shinde, 20, along with his associate Swapnil Mahadik, 20, for snatching a four-tola gold chain and a mobile from a college student at Diva station.
A first-time offender and a resident of Diva, Shinde took to snatching gold ornaments as this fetched him more than what he used to earn by selling peanuts at Kalyan station.
The police officer said many new offenders — especially children of women selling flowers in ladies compartments and drug addicts — have taken to chain snatching.
Rajendra Pal, police inspector of Mumbai GRP headquarters, said: “To control the ever-increasing crime, the GRP personnel have started keeping a tab on history-sheeters and those criminals who have been released on bail.”
Cases registered & solved
Cases Detected Property stolen Property recovered
2013 (Jan. to Oct) 480 290 Rs1.41 crore Rs52.24 lakh
2012 (Jan. to Dec) 517 331 Rs1.81 crore Rs80.79 lakh