KOCHI: Last month, Ernakulam South Police arrested two persons who had been allegedly picking the pockets of people travelling in private buses. They were not novices. According to the police, the duo committed the crime with planning and precision. Shiham of Vathuruthy and Melvin of Edakochi were nabbed for picking the pocket of Shanavas from Kumbalangi while he was travelling in a private bus from Thevara Ferry via High Court Junction.
The accused withdrew Rs 21,000 from Shanavas’ account using the ATM card in the stolen wallet. Later, they used the money to buy apparels worth Rs 6,000. Officers said the arrested used the ATM cards of their victims to draw money. Hisham is an accused in a case related to the theft of medicines worth Rs 20 lakh and the duo have been behind the several pickpocketing, robbery and theft cases registered at Harbour, Panangad and Palluruthy police stations. According to the officers, the duo had been under the police’s radar for a while.
Even though Kochi is witnessing a dip in big crimes like murders, pickpocketing and robbery cases have increased exponentially. Pickpockets have even struck at Kochi Metro.The statistics available with the City Police show that robbery cases are on an upward swing. As per the data, as many as 253 robbery cases have been registered since April this year. Meanwhile, other crimes such as dacoity, burglary, thefts and auto theft are being reported less, claim police officers. The number of burglaries being registered at the police stations have come down this year. The data shows that the city is seeing a reduction in overall crime rate compared to the previous year, they added. However, all was not hunky dory for the cops who nabbed 15 transgenders for robbing a person at KSRTC bus stand. They drew flak from the community.
Explaining the measures taken to check crime in the city, City Police Commissioner M P Dinesh said history-sheeters, notorious criminals and others having a criminal background are under police radar. Cops have been directed to collect information regarding their whereabouts and also monitor their activities. “Every month we review the data collected and take the necessary action. We have also intensified the combing operations and night patrolling,” the Commissioner added.Though the number of grave offences in the city has come down, the Commissioner said pickpocketing and other crimes are being frequently reported. “We have turned our attention to this. The pink patrol and Shadow Police team have been deployed to curb these kinds of crimes,” he said.
He said, the cops have been deployed at every nook and cranny of the city to keep a check on suspicious activities. “Around 1,700 vehicles enter and leave the city. The police are checking all the vehicles that enter and leave the city without causing any trouble. This kind of enforcement have helped in reducing the crime rate,” he added.However, a few officers said many show reluctance in lodging complaints and this in turn works to the benefit of the pickpockets. “We urge more and more people to file police complaints in order to effectively check this menace,” the officers added.