Bengaluru's CBD turns into mobile-snatching hub

Police say muggers target people who walk or commute alone and sell these phones in the grey market for easy cash 

Published: 12th July 2019 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2019 01:01 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Talking, texting and even booking cabs on your mobile on a busy street in the Central Business District (CBD) is fraught with the danger of mugging. Even walking down a road here borders on the risky.  

The CBD has become a hub of bike-borne youngsters who snatch mobiles, with an increasing number of incidents reported from the area. According to the Bengaluru City Police, although there are at least 40 CCTV cameras installed in various vulnerable places to keep track of anti-social elements, and most buildings in the area have security cameras, the police are still finding it difficult to nab the muggers. The police say it is not just one group of people committing these thefts, but rather random groups of two or three people, which makes it difficult to catch them. 

In a recent incident, miscreants snatched a mobile phone from 36-year-old Vasanth Vishnu B, a resident of Lavelle Road. On July 1, the private firm employee was travelling in an autorickshaw. At 9.05 pm, when he was near Rotary Building on Lavelle Road, two miscreants riding a Bajaj Pulsar robbed his mobile phone and escaped. In another incident on July 2, 26-year-old advocate Sanjana Nandi was walking home in Shanthi Nagar through Long Ford Road at 9pm, when two bike-borne miscreants snatched her bag. In her complaint with the Ashok Nagar police, she said her bag contained a mobile phone, Rs 400 in cash and ID cards. 

An investigating officer from Ashok Nagar police station said that the muggers mostly target people who are walking or commuting alone. “In a month, we get at least four to five such cases. We suspect the muggers are different people, as sometimes they use scooters, a Yamaha and sometimes a Bajaj Pulsar. All the cases registered in our jurisdiction have happened at night, when people are normally walking home or in few cases, booking cabs,” he continued.  

Meanwhile, another investigating officer from Cubbon Park police station said that they suspect most of the muggers are college dropouts or unemployed youths. “They do not have money to buy drugs, liquor and sometimes even to fill fuel for their vehicles, so they resort to snatching mobile phones to sell it in the grey market. We are making efforts to nab them, but most of the time our men are deployed on special duties,” the officer said.

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