Over 3,000 snatchings in six months; 38% solved, 1.6K held

new delhi: Delhi has in the first six months of this year reported as many as 3,063 snatching cases, of which the Delhi Police said it has been able to solve around 38.9 per cent or nearly 1,200 cases with the arrest of over 1,600 people. Police said apart from criminals, they are also focusing on first-time offenders who turned to crime due to various social reasons.

The Delhi Police data (till June) shows that out of 3,063 cases, 1,194 cases were solved and 1,638 people were arrested. However, despite the challenges involved in solving blind snatching cases, investigators have said there is only a 50 per cent chance of recovering the stolen


"There are 50-50 chances of recovery like for instance there are two snatchers on a motorcycle. There is a possibility that the person who snatched, gave the item to others. And in case one of them is caught then others will flee with the valuables. There are also chances that the person who has the snatched item is caught while others flee," an official said.

Another investigator said that there are fewer chances of recovery as the snatchers are usually quick to dispose of the stolen items. "After snatching they go to their receiver for disposal. Like if it is gold, then it will be melted. Professional snatchers do not take a long time for disposal. In the current scenario, we have noticed that few criminals also gift stolen jewellery to their girlfriends or relatives or might keep it with himself and this is the only possibility of


As for mobile phones that are snatched, the official said the only chance of recovery is if the criminals switch on the phone. "If the snatcher starts using the mobile phone or gifts it to anyone who uses the mobile phone, then there are chances of the phone getting traced." In other instances, the professional snatchers sell the stolen phones to receivers who dispose of the mobile by dismantling it or washing the IMEI number, leaving very little room for the possibility of recovery.

Delhi Police PRO, Eish Singhal told Millennium Post that they have taken several steps to curb snatchings in the Capital. "We are doing mapping of crime-prone areas, intensive two-wheeler checkings are going on in the city. We are conducting verification of old jail-bail release criminals, bad characters," he said adding that they are also identifying the routes, timings, planning most commonly used by snatchers.

Interestingly, according to Delhi Police data till May this year, local law enforcement authorities had identified about 3,505 first time offenders, of which over 600 were found to be involved in robberies and snatchings. Last year, the Delhi Police had also identified 75 street crime hot spots in the city. According to police, due to various social reasons, there has been an increase in first-time offenders and it is a challenge for them to identify them. "Through Yuva initiative, they are trying to bring youths (offenders) to the mainstream. They are being given vocational training," an official said.

During the lockdown, several people lost their jobs and after getting unemployed they started committing a crime. In one of the cases, reported from South Delhi, a former food delivery boy was arrested along with his associate in a mobile snatching case.

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