Pune: In a strange turn of events, six of seven CCTV cameras installed in the Viman Nagar area to help nab culprits, following a rise in incidents of theft and chain-snatching, have been stolen. This came to light after a fight broke out in the locality and police tried to access the CCTV footage only to find the cameras missing.
Aarti Sonagra, 35, who is a resident of Viman Nagar’s Silver Nest society and runs an NGO, had installed seven CCTV cameras across seven chowks. “After the German Bakery and J M road serial blasts, the police had appealed for CCTV cameras to be installed in the area. Incidents of chain-snatching and house breakings have also been increasing. That’s why I decided to spend Rs3 lakh and install cameras for public safety,” said Sonagra, adding that she had sought police opinion and even dealt with objections from local shopkeepers.
Sonagra said the camera thefts started in the month of January. “By April-end, two cameras went missing from Shree Krishna Chowk and Kailash market areas. Now, only one of the seven cameras remains operational at Ganesh Chowk in Vimannagar. What is the use of installing CCTV cameras for detecting thefts when they are also being stolen?”, she asked.
Dilip Naukudkar, inspector in-charge of Airport police station said the CCTV cameras aided police investigations. “The footage gave us clues about a chain-snatcher and helped nab a burglar. The cameras had been removed by someone with sound-knowledge of the setup, evident from the clean manner in which lines were cut, and how they did not to let any part of their operations get captured.”