Mumbai: Mumbai, the financial capital of India, is fast gaining notoriety for an alarmingly rising number of car theft case as compared to other metropolitan cities.
According to reports, Mumbai - once considered to be one of the most safest cities in India - has now become a hub of car robberies.
If reports are to be believed, cars worth Rs 68 crores were stolen in Mumbai in 2017 alone out of which Mumbai Police could recover cars worth Rs 21 crores.
The Anti-Motor Vehicle Theft (AMVT) unit of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch had last year busted a gang allegedly involved in stealing cars and selling them as second-hand vehicles after changing their chassis number and engine number.
The non-availability of parking spaces in residential areas, the indifference of owners, reluctance to spend on safety devices, as well as lacunae like re-registration of vehicles in some states and manual maintenance of records are some of the factors behind the rising number of vehicle thefts in the city.
The situation in Mumbai is no better than Delhi where four vehicles were stolen every hour in 2017, according to the figures released by the Delhi Police.
Delhi Police said in its annual report, released last year, that the total number of such thefts rose to over 39,000 from 36,702 in 2016.
In view of rising vehicle thefts cases, the Maharashtra Police had sometimes back launched a website www.vahanchoritakrar.com that allows a quick registration of theft of motor vehicles to help solve the case in a record 21 days.
The website has been designed on the lines of the applications and websites that are being used by police in Delhi and Bangalore. It aims to keep a tab on the rising cases of vehicles being stolen and provide a hassle-free process for registering complaints.
Apart from Mumbai, the stolen vehicle is a common phenomenon in other cities like Thane, Pune and other metro cities in India. The vehicles stolen are generally used for illegal purposes.
The website has been linked to the National Crime Records Bureau, State Crime Records Bureau and the Regional Transport Authority. This linking would help the police in tracking down the vehicles.
The Mumbai Police has also issued a list of do's and don'ts on its website for car owners so that they can prevent their vehicles from theft by following them.