Thefts: India

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Chethan Kumar, Items 10 times the cost of Atal Tunnel stolen in 5 years, less than 25% found, October 5, 2020: The Times of India


In December 2019, a thief in Madhya Pradesh’s Shajapur left a note at a government bungalow he broke into. He called the owner a “miser” and expressed anger over his efforts not fetching the expected “reward”.

But not all of his tribe was as unsuccessful as him in the past few years. From mobile phones to cars and from cattle to jewellery, thieves, robbers, burglars and dacoits in India, in five years, stole items/ property worth 10 times the cost of the Atal Tunnel PM Narendra Modi inaugurated on Saturday. Of the Rs 32,892 crore worth items stolen between 2015 and 2019, property worth less than a quarter have been recovered.

A state-wise analysis of items stolen in 2019 shows that five states — Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh — account for 58% of their total value. While Maharashtra remains on the top consistently in the five-year period, Gujarat makes it to the top five in a couple of years.

Data shows that homes are the most unsafe places to store valuables followed by keeping them on-person while on the road. Crimes at residential premises and roadways account for 63% of the value of items stolen in 2019. In terms of cases, 61% of all cases were reported either at people’s homes or on the roads. Stolen motor vehicles, cash & jewellery and electronic gadgets account for 70% of the total value of stolen items in 2019, and the trend is moreor-less similar in the previous years. Former Tamil Nadu DGP SR Jangid, who successfully led an operation to arrest dacoits of the notorious Bavaria gang said, “ There are two key aspects: Detection and recovery. Recovery is very difficult as most criminals dispose of stolen property quickly. But one way to increase recovery is to expedite detection to do which the forces must equip themselves with the right technology”.

In 2019, the value of recovered items was 31% of the total value of stolen property, which is less than 35% reported in 2018. Of the Rs 32,892 crore worth stolen property, 30% was reported in 2016, which saw an 18% increase from 2015. From 2017, the value of items stolen has been decreasing.

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