A four-and-half sovereign gold chain was snatched from a woman passenger of the Puducherry-Mumbai Dadar Chalukya Express (11006) during the wee hours of Monday near Jolarpet Railway Junction.
Though the victim’s husband tried to catch the chain snatcher, he jumped off the train that was moving slowly and disappeared into the darkness.
The sudden spurt of chain snatching incidents between Parsempettai railway gate and Jolarpet has put the government railway police attached to the Jolarpet railway station in a tight spot. “Monday’s incident was the fifth reported in the last six months, while several cases went unreported as the passengers were unwilling to come forward to lodge a complaint,” a police officer, on condition of anonymity, said.
R Sivagami, a resident of C V Raman Nagar in Bangalore was the latest victim. “We went to sleep after the train crossed Katpadi Railway Station. I woke up hearing my wife raising an alarm for help. I saw a youth trying to alight from the train. Though I tried to catch him, he jumped from the train as it was moving slowly and vanished into the darkness,” Sivagami’s husband Ram Kumar said while narrating the incident. The couple, with their 18-month-old son had boarded the train at Villupuram. They were in berths 1 and 4, which are near to door, on S2 coach of the train.
The miscreant, aged between 25 and 30 years, boarded the Yercaud Express within few minutes after succeeding in his first attempt. He tried to snatch the thali of a woman passenger. Fortunately, the passenger held on to her thali, while the miscreant escaped with a few grams of gold ornament from it.
“The two incidents happened between 2.45 am and 2.50 am on Monday. The second victim has not come forward to file a complaint. Like her, several victims who had lost less than two sovereigns preferred not to lodge a complaint with the police,” the officer added.
The modus operandi of the youth was to board trains passing through Jolarpet between 2 am and 4 am and target women passengers sleeping near doors. After snatching the jewels, he used to alight from the train within a flash.
“Eight trains pass through Jolarpet between 2 and 4 am. The train either stop at the signal or travel at a speed of 3 to 5 kms per hour, for a kilometre from Parsempettai railway gate to the Jolarpet junction. The miscreant has been taking advantage of the slow speed of trains in the stretch,” another police official added.
He candidly said the miscreant has been evading police for the last six months despite a special team being formed to nab him. Also, five to six police personnel were deployed in various locations in this regard.
The Government Railway Police registered a case and launched a search for the absconding thief. “We will soon nab the miscreant,” the police officer said.