THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chain snatching is not an easy job as it was before. With surveillance cameras in every nook and corner of the city, the police has been able to stem the influx of new entrants to the crime scene. Those who ply the trade are old hands, who have a sort of ‘nostalgia’ attached to their profession. They are the ones who are not afraid of the enforcers and try to devise new tricks to give the cameras and technologies a slip. The only threat they face - that threat is a real deterrent for them - is something that rarely gets a mention. Gold plated ornaments.
The use of the gold plated ornaments have taken the wind out of the ‘snatching business’. As per police records, so far four snatching cases were recorded in the city this month. Of this, two cases deserve special mention. In both incidents, it was gold-plated ornaments that were snatched. Police sources said the snatchers couldn’t distinguish between real and fake gold and end up in prison without benefitting out of their ‘hard work’. In cases registered under Nemom and Karamana stations, two-an-a-half sovereign gold were snatched, which later turned out to be gold plated.
Special Branch Assistant Commissioner Pramod Kumar said the use of spurious gold has been a major deterrent for the snatchers. He added that even in case of those who are using real gold, the quantity of ornaments they wear are less compared to the past. “The school and college-going students and working women are the potential targets of snatchers. But they wear thin chains and that is a repellent for snatchers. Even if they take the risk and snatch it, the gain is only minimal,” he said.
As per the police, majority of snatching cases happen in the early mornings and evenings. Sources said many of the history sheeters indulged in snatching has switched to ganja trade as that is more profitable for them. So there was a slump in chain snatching cases. However, with the enforcers tightening screws on ganja peddlers, many of them are making a comeback. In the last two months, about 10 cases were registered in the cities. Most of the incident took place in areas bordering the rural areas. Commissioner P Prakash said two gangs comprising total of five people were arrested for snatching.
No longer profitable
Sources said many of the history sheeters indulged in snatching has switched to ganja trade as that is more profitable for themn