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Leaving keys behind key factor causing vehicle thefts Saturday, June 2, 2001
By Sonal Kellogg, AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 1: In a startling discovery, it has been found that vehicle theft is on the rise since careless owners leave their keys behind. According to commissioner of police P C Pande, such thefts would reduce considerably if people just lock their vehicles.
Statistically, more vehicles are stolen from the western part of the city, specially four wheelers. The city has as many as 8 lakh odd vehicles plying on its roads and around 1500 vehicles are stolen every year out of which the summer months are the peak time for vehicle thieves.
In 1998, the total number of vehicles stolen were 1571, in 1999 it went down to 1425 but in 2000 total vehicles stolen again rose to 1540. This year already 500 vehicles have been stolen. But month wise, it must be noted that in January 105 vehicles were stolen, in February 106 vehicles were stolen but the figures rose sharply to 145 in March and 144 in April.
It goes without saying that the most thefts are of two wheelers with over 1,200 stolen every year. There are various gangs who operate in the city and are involved in vehicle theft. Most send the vehicles to small villages in various neighbouring states where chances of detection are minimal.
But Mr Pande pointed out that even if the number plates are changed and the vehicle is used in the city, the chances of it being detected as a stolen vehicle are one in a million. He said that the only way that a vehicle could be detected would be if it was caught during routine checking on the cross roads and various traffic junctions.
Deputy commissioner of police Manoj Agrawal said that they had conducted an experiment at the Karanj police station where they took all unlocked vehicles parked nearby Karanj police station and took them to the police station compound till the owners came to claim it.
Mr Agrawal said that this had reduced the number of thefts of vehicles in that area. He added that if owners could use their own personal locks to secure their vehicles, then these thefts would reduce considerably. But he agreed that the police also needs to be vigilant about the offence.
It must be noted that just kids looking for a joy ride and later abandoned when petrol runs out steal many vehicles, said Navarangpura police inspector O S Majumdar. “Some times drug addicts and those looking for quick money, steal the vehicle and leave it after taking the spare wheel, which they later sell for Rs 100-200,” he said.
Recently, the Shahibaug police had caught a gang of four from good families, who had stolen 7 vehicles and where just doing it for extra pocket money.
News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]