Pune: The Indian culture attaches special sentimental value to ‘Mangalsutras’, following which, the state Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has suggested to turn chain snatching cases to a special court. The CID has also asked to make amendments in section 379 (pertaining to theft) in the Indian Penal Code of 1860. It has further suggested to increase punishment for repeated chain snatchers in order to curb the incidents in the state.
The suggestions been made after the CID studied chain snatching incidents in the state between the years 2003 and 2012. The department has noticed that there are some chain snatchers who are serial offenders. The CID has also observed that most of the chain snatchers secure bail on cash security by courts, and never turn up at the court, and keep committing similar offences.
Speaking to dna, the state CID chief SP Yadav said, “In Maharashtra ‘Mangalsutra’ has sentimental value. It is not a mere gold chain. As a result, the cases of chain snatching should be treated seriously at the police station level. Moreover, we have observed that most of the snatchers are committing the crime repeatedly in the state. Considering this, we studied the modus opernadi of these criminals and checked out their present activities. We found that they are still operating in the state. Accordingly, we have suggested to the police commissionerates and rural headquarters to keep a close tab on them.”
Yadav said that the chain snatching has become a business in the state. Both snatchers and receivers (mostly jewellers) are running rackets as syndicates and hence they are gaining success.
“There are certain gangs which sell stolen property to a particular receiver for cheaper rates, say at 50 to 60 per cent than the market price. Recently, it was revealed that these chain snatchers are accompanied by their receivers. Receivers halt at lodges or hotels in the city and the gang commits chain snatching and the ornaments are sold on the spot on carat basis price up to 60 %,” he added.
Once small ornaments are sold to receivers, these jewellers usually mark loot as pawned ornaments, with the payments set as monthly interest in their records, to play a safe game.
Yadav further said, “In some cases, the receivers offer very trifling amount, up to 20 to 30 % to chain snatchers and frighten them if they inform police. The present trend is observed that instead of selling golden ornaments, some chain snatchers keep it as mortgage with renowned gold loan companies and pick up loans.”
Yadav further said that in the analysis the department found that from the receivers and chain snatcher arrested, one receiver has purchased stolen property from the same chain snatchers several times and both have been arrested in multiple cases. “It is a serious trend in the state and we have come to conclusion that these receivers are keeping gangs of chain snatchers,” he added.