With the number of theft cases on the rise, Mangalore does not seem to be safe place anymore. Robbery, theft and chain-snatching have become common occurrences to the extent that the port city may resemble tinsel town Mumbai in terms of criminal instances in future.
The district has become a breeding ground for thieves who break into houses and make away with valuables, or chain-snatchers in bikes waiting to waylay and rob lone women. So far, over 80 cases of theft and burglary have been registered in Mangalore city limits alone in the past three months (quoted as per records from October 1 till December 18). However, only 66 per cent of theft cases have been solved.
From January to November this year, as many as 400 theft cases including dacoities, robberies, house break-ins and auto thefts were reported in Mangalore Commissionerate jurisdiction, but only 137 cases were disposed.
This year, as many as 124 cases of house break-ins have been reported, out of which 112 were night-time break-ins. Out of these, 74 cases are still under investigation and only 26 were detected, said Asst Commissioner of Police Subashchandra S, who is in-charge of Mangalore City Crime Record Branch.
According to statistics, there has been an increase in robbery cases in the year 2012, when compared to previous year. A total of 61 cases of robbery in Mangalore city limits have been recorded this year, which is almost double the number of cases recorded last year. Out of these, the suspects in only nine cases have been charge-sheeted, and 52 cases are still under investigation, which is a significant number. Out of two dacoities reported, one was disposed while the other is still under investigation.
Keeping aside robberies, burglaries and other house thefts, as many as 194 cases of ordinary thefts have been reported this year, out of which 114 are still under investigation. The accused in 28 cases have been charge-sheeted, while 52 have been dismissed due to various reasons.
However, ACP Subashchandra says that the number of theft cases has not increased. From this year, all cases related to chain-snatching have been listed in the police department under ‘robbery’ to increase the gravity of the offence.
Residents in Mangalore have expressed concern over the increase in theft cases and have urged the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to control the menace. Since 90 per cent of the break-ins occur during the night, night patrolling and vigil may help in keeping the streets empty and thieves at bay.
However, the police department has printed and distributed some material among residents instructing them to do the needful to ensure their own safety
Currently, there are 12 Police Control Room (PCR) vans patrolling in the night in the city limits to check instances of crime. Increased alertness of people, along with police officials could help nab culprits and check the menace. Investigation is going on in all the theft and robbery cases that are unresolved, he said.