VISAKHAPATNAM: Lost your two-wheeler? Unfortunately, chances are very slim for you to get it back, what with the city police recording less than 35 per cent recovery rate, consecutively for the past two years.
The reason for this ranges from old school approach to investigation of bike theft cases to criminals going uber-smart and resorting to novel ways to steal bikes.
As per police records, about 342 two-wheeler thefts were registered in the city police limits during 2014 as against 348 during 2013. However, the recovery rate was very poor with only 94 bikes having been recovered in 2013 and 102 in 2014.
According to sources, the current strategy in use for bike recovery cases is as old as it can get. The city police rely on picking up habitual offenders for thefts or enlisting their help in nabbing new ones.
“In the present times, recovery of bikes is a Herculean task as the criminals sell them off in other districts. There are even cases when some offenders steal bikes to escape from the police and leave them somewhere. CCTV footage from public places could be useful in such cases, but unfortunately, we do not have many,” said a senior police officer from the Central Crime Station.
Police sources said that in recent cases, bikes are being sold in neighbouring districts and states. Some people in East Godavari, West Godavari and other districts in Odisha and Jharkand are operating illegal business like purchasing stolen bikes for meager prices and selling them at profitable rates. De to poor coordination and support from the local police to their counterparts in neighbouring districts/states, many cases are remaining unsolved.
Meanwhile, there have been increasing number of incidents where youngsters are found involved in bike theft cases. Mostly, school dropouts are seen involved in such incidents in which they steal bikes from public places and use them after changing their number plates.
“Some youngsters are fascinated with bikes and they steal them using pins or duplicate keys,” said the police officer.
In this regard, CCRB police Eliyas Sagar said that it is rather difficult to identify a certain area or a junction where most bike thefts take place, as the cases are spread throughout the city.