Special squad to check rising cases of chain-snatchingNews — By The Desk on April 12, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Times of India: With 11 gold chains worth Rs 5.34 lakh being robbed in last 18 hours, the city police have been forced to set up a special squad to curb the sudden spurt in chain-snatching crimes.
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Anant Rokade said, “Inspector Ram Jadhav of the anti-dacoity squad will head the special squad. We will provide a team of around 15 persons. This squad will focus only on detecting and curbing chain-snatching crimes,” Rokade said.
On Sunday six incidents of snatching were reported in the city, of which five took place between 9.30 pm and 10 pm.
On Monday, suspects targeted citizens who were on their morning walks, and managed to snatch four gold chains in three incidents between 6.15 am and 7 am.
Of these seven incidents, the police have managed to detect two with the help of alert citizens. Five persons, including a couple, have been arrested so far.
The first incident took place at Aranyeshwar area of Sahakarnagar on Sunday around 12 pm, in which two suspects on motorcycle snatched Kothrud resident Rekha Pravin Yenpure’s (25) gold chain worth Rs 60,000. However, Yenpure and her husband alerted the people on the road and chased the suspects. The people and the policemen on patrolling duty nabbed the duo on Pune-Satara road near Swargate. They have been identified as Deepak Navnath Shitole (24) of Bibvewadi and Vijay Chandmal Jain (26) of Dhankawdi.
Assistant police inspector Shashikant Khot of Sahakarnagar police station said that the suspects were produced before the court and remanded to police custody till April 13. “Investigations have revealed that Jain has a business of building material supply. We are investigating whether the duo was involved in similar incidents,” Khot said.
Another incident took place around 9.30 pm on Fergusson College (FC) Road in which a couple and their accomplice snatched the gold chain worth Rs 50,000 of 19-year-old student Pratik Wangikar of FC road. However, alert people on the road nabbed the trio and handed them over to the Deccan Gymkhana police station. They have been identified as Mayur Sanjay Waghmare (28) his wife Shanta (27) both of Ganesh Peth and Bharat Ramesh Pawar (19) of Shivajinagar.
Assistant commissioner of police Prabhkar Patil (crime) said that the suspects had used a different modus operandi. “On Sunday when Wangikar was talking with his friend, Waghmare came near him and all of a sudden hugged him. In the meantime, Pawar snatched his chain and began running,” Patil said. He said that when Wangikar caught Pawar after a brief chase, Shanta, who was near the spot, alleged that Wangikar had tried to molest her. “But, when they were produced before the police, they agreed to their involvement in the crime. We have recovered the chain,” Patil said.
Within half an hour of the above incident, suspects snatched two gold chains including one worth Rs 1 lakh near S P College area. Parvati Jadhav (42) of Shanivar Peth and Swati Avinash Saradkar (44) of Gokhalenagar have lodged a complaint with the Khadak police station. Following this incident, suspects snatched a gold chain worth Rs 30,000 of Suvarna Rajendra Zad (41) at Guruwar Peth and fled. A case has been lodged with the Vishrambaug police station. In a gap of five minutes another chain worth Rs 45,000 was snatched at Shivajinagar. Vaishali Gaikwad (38) of Bhosari has lodged a complaint with the Shivajinagar police station.
On Monday morning, three citizens fell prey to chain snatchers while on their walk. Around 6.15 am the suspects snatched gold chain worth Rs 24,000 of Nirmala Mohan Date (78) at Mukundnagar. Suspects also snatched two gold chains worth Rs 1.60 lakh of Uttam Narayan Barate (60) near Sarasbaug. Around 7 am, Bharati Uday Dandekar (52) of Phatakbaug was relieved of her gold chain worth Rs 65,000.
DCP Rokade said that the police are also taking the help of traffic police to curb the chain snatching crimes. “The in charge of all the police stations are regularly appealing people to remain alert. We are regularly checking criminals on police record. We have also intensified patrolling and developed new points for nakabandi operations,” Rokade said.