Chandigarh: A series of daylight robberies and incidents of snatching targeting morning walkers has left Chandigarh residents, especially senior citizens, feeling insecure and police red-faced.
In separate incidents April 19, four women on their morning walk in different parts of the city were robbed of their gold ornaments by motorcycle-borne youths in a span of just one hour. In one case, the woman tried to retaliate and even tore off the shirt of the accused but could not stop him from fleeing.
The next day, a 60-year-old morning walker was targeted by armed youths carrying pistols and her ornaments stolen.
This has aroused a feeling of insecurity among residents, especially senior citizens.
Sarita Mahajan, an elderly resident, said, "After reading reports of snatching incidents, I`ve stopped wearing gold. In fact, I have stopped going for morning walks alone and now I take my grandchildren along."
On April 21 night, robbers struck at 10 shops in Sectors 7, 24, 26 and 27 and decamped with cash and valuables worth lakhs of rupees. Although police have got some images of the robbers through CCTV cameras installed at one shop, they are yet to reach a breakthrough.
A 26-year-old man was arrested April 23 while allegedly running away on a scooter after snatching a woman`s bag.
"The accused is a drug addict. He had done a bachelor of business administration from a Canadian university. We are interrogating him to know if he was involved in other snatching incidents," a police official said.
On Jan 23, eight incidents of snatching targeting elderly women occurred in quick succession. Last year, a robber severely injured a woman in the ears while attempting to snatch her earrings outside Terraced Garden in Sector 33.
Police admit there has been a spurt in such crimes.
"There has been some increase in snatching incidents and robberies in the last few days, but we are committed to solving all the cases and to ensure the prevention of such incidents in future. We have collected various clues and very soon the culprits will be behind bars," SS Srivastava, Senior Superintendent of Police, Chandigarh, said.
Chandigarh was originally designed for 500,000 people, but currently it has over 1.1 million residents.