In her late 20s, Ramandeep likes to live life kingsize. To support her lavish lifestyle, she and her biker boyfriend Jasjeet commit around five to six chain snatchings in a month. But only after her husband, who works for a transport company, leaves for work.
This and more such cases came to light on last Friday when Delhi Police managed to chase and arrest the couple from east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar. They are involved in around 15 such incidents in Delhi’s upmarket areas such as Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, Kasturba Gandhi Road and India Gate.
“Ramandeep deposited all the stolen chains at Muthoot Finance and comfortably made around `1 lakh a month,” Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjay Beniwal said.
The Delhi Police’s next new ad campaign might just ask people to watch out for women riding pillion on motorbikes. Several incidents of chain-snatching have been reported in the capital, in which college-going girls, riding pillion behind their boyfriends, have grabbed gold chains from women on roads and escaped well in time.
Such boy-girl chain-snatching gangs operating on the city’s roads have been keeping policemen on their toes. Their modus operandi is simple. Girls ride pillion on motorcycles with their faces covered using a ‘dupatta’ and target women pedestrians.
Last year, the Delhi Police arrested 44 such women for committing snatchings and most of them were found to be college girls. In 2012, only eight such cases were reported. This shortcut of making quick money seems to be catching up. The police say many such young female snatchers are active in the city at the moment.
“While their male accomplices drive the bike, women ride pillion and commit snatching. It has become a new trend in the city and it’s disturbing. It is really tough to nab them,” said Beniwal. These women are active mostly at traffic intersections, market places where they can find easy targets.Many such gangs are active at various traffic intersections at Lutyens’ Delhi and busy markets such as Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Karol Bagh, Janpath, Chandni Chowk, R K Puram, Lodi Colony, INA Colony and Greater Kailash. In some cases, these women are employed by male snatcher gangs, the police said.These snatchers are also active at Metro stations where they wait at the platform. When the train doors are about to shut they snatch valuables from bystanders and rush into the train, mingling with commuters.
Such gangs are active in other parts of the country as well. “In Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai too, women have started committing snatching on bikes. In the recent past, several such incidents have come to light,” said another IPS officer.