5 vehicles stolen every 24 hrs in Gzb last year, shows NCRB data

  • | Thursday | 7th December, 2023

GHAZIABAD: At least five vehicles were stolen from city roads every day last year. NCRB data showed that the total number of stolen vehicles was 2,036 last year compared to 2,267 in 2021, reflecting a 10% drop in such cases. House burglaries also dropped to 144 from 149, with 90% happening after sunset.Several organised gangs are behind the vehicle thefts, said a senior police officer, adding that those arrested come out of jail and start stealing cars and two-wheelers again.Most vehicles are stolen from outside houses, parks and markets, where parking is illegal. Residents should learn to park at designated zones, with someone present to guard their vehicles, he said.Car lifters operate in two ways — they lift a car on demand or steal a car for parts. If they steal for parts only, they sell the car to scrap dealers, he added.Police said thieves need just a few hours to dispose of stolen vehicles. They often take them to a salvage yard in Satiganj (Meerut), Ghaziabad and other parts of Delhi-NCR, where cars are dismantled in no time, leaving no opportunity for investigators to trace them.In July 2021, police raided several shops in Satiganj junkyard and found several engines without numbers and many other costly vehicle parts. When questioned, the staff could not answer satisfactorily, and police booked 62 under the Gangster and Goondas Acts.Vehicle thieves are also using technology to their advantage, said police. In September 2023, police arrested two of a gang using hi-tech devices to hack into the digital codes that secure cars and steal them. The accused bought the devices that could bypass the ECMs (Engine Control Modules) online or from workshops with Rs 30,000 minimum to lakhs of rupees. Usually, auto mechanics use the devices to unlock accidentally locked cars, restart engines and fix alarm systems.A notable case from 2022 involves the lifting of a brand new Swift Dzire from Vijay Nagar in October. The car owner, a software engineer, parked it outside his house and could not find it the next day.According to police, SSP Pawan Kumar, before the police commissionerate came into force in November 2022, had noted that people who come to Delhi-NCR for work but can not earn money start committing vehicle thefts and send the money from to their families for houses and weddings.Ajay Kumar Mishra, current police commissioner, said once police removed scrap dealers from Meerut and Ghaziabad, vehicle thefts decreased. Daily, traffic personnel used to stop one or two stolen bikes. On putting the vehicle number on the e-vahan app, they would find a truck or other vehicle registered under it. The number plates were changed to avoid detection, Mishra said.About burglars, a senior police officer said, They are usually locals who recce the house before committing the crimes. So far this year, police have arrested over 30 who broke into houses.Recently, on December 4, thieves fled with Rs 40,00 cash and jewellery worth Rs 10 lakh from a house in Nandgram when the owner was attending a wedding in Haryana.The police commissioner said, CCTV coverage is a deterrent to vehicle thefts and house burglaries. Now, criminals know if any camera captures them, cops will arrest them. To curb such incidents, we have also increased night patrolling and added several checkposts in identified hotspots. Police are also working with RWAs and other residents, he added.

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