4 robberies, 14 chain snatching instances in Chennai in just a few hours
Over the past weekend, robberies were reported from Arumbakkam, Koyambedu, Kilpauk, Mannadi, Thirumangalam, Ashok Nagar, Taramani and Virugambakkam. Of these, at least five were instances of men being robbed of cash, mobile phones and valuables at knifepoint, while others were instances of mobile phones and gold chains being snatched from pedestrians.
The spate of robberies was reportedly carried out by men on bikes who sped away before an alarm was raised. According to a report in the New Indian Express, the robberies began at 10:45 pm on Sunday at Thirumangalam, and at least one other instance was reported every 30 minutes up until 3 am. A police source told the newspaper that Rs 30,000 cash, 15 sovereigns of gold and mobile phones Rs 2 lakh was robbed.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one senior police officer told TNM, “On paper, the crime rates are not much higher than last year. This (chain snatching) has been happening for a long time now. This has been hyped up all of a sudden. Every instance of robbery is being filed. The checks on bikers have been successful. But there are always new areas that they (the robbers) find. Even with the presence of cameras, we need to have 100 percent coverage, and that will take some time.”
According to one report in the Times of India, the police have asked victims to submit complaints as ‘lost’ objects, as opposed to registering cases of robbery. The newspaper quotes lawyers and former bureaucrats who say that the reason the police isn’t entertaining cases of robbery is because the state assembly is in session. In order to avoid the opposition raising the crime rates as a reason for the government’s failure, the police reportedly refuse to register instances of robbery.
According to Puthiya Thalaimurai, three chain snatchers have been arrested in Sathangadu and Vepery respectively. The police are investigating 30 people in this regard.