Chain snatching incidents on a rise in Pune

Pune Police has deployed additional 400 policemen to step up vigilance.

Last Updated: Apr 23, 2011, 11:09 AM IST

Pune: With over 100 incidents of chain
snatching reported in the city in the last two months, Pune
Police has deployed additional 400 policemen to step up

Police blame the rising chain snatching incidents to
the galloping prices of the yellow metal.

"There is a connection between rising prices of gold
and the increasing incidents of chain and `mangalsutra`
snatching in the city and we have advised women to desist from
displaying their ornaments while going for marriages and
ceremonial functions," Prabhakar Patil, Assistant Commissioner
of Police, Pune, said.

According to police, inter-district gangs of chain
snatchers operating in Pune have made women an "easy target"
cashing in on their confused state of mind due to the
suddenness of the attack that renders them unable to identify
the culprit or the registration number of his vehicle.

"The car or motorcycle borne culprits plan a smooth
operation as they approach women on the pretext of locating
an address or seeking direction and flee the scene after the
incident, leaving the victims baffled and confused," said
Patil, adding police have issued an appeal to women not to
show off their gold ornaments while in transit.

The police sources acknowledged that due to the modus
operandi of the chain snatching gangs, not many arrests had
been made despite the growing incidents.

Police have stepped up patrolling and special
investigating teams have been formed to nab chain snatchers
besides launching an awareness drive to sensitise women about
the potential situations and suspects.

Apart from the women moving about their daily chores,
the culprits have been targeting elderly women who go for a
walk in the morning as they are not in a position to offer any
resistance to them.

"The culprits wear a helmet or scarves with big sun
glasses to hide their faces and make good their escape after
the pillion snatches the gold chain as the rider speeds past
in a jiffy," Patil noted.

While assuring the citizens that all necessary
preventive measures were being taken to curb the menace of
gold chain snatching, police have also advised women to "raise
a loud alarm by shouting" the moment they are confronted by
the chain snatchers.

The stolen `mangalsutras` and gold chains are believed
to find their way into open market after being recycled
through dubious jewellers who purchase them at half the
prevailing price from the gangs.