Local trains are the best place for pickpockets to rob valuable from the pockets of travelling passengers. The right time of these pickpockets to rob the passengers is either while the passengers are boarding the train or are alighting. Secondly, in the tremendous rush that the passengers travel in brushing shoulder-to-shoulder is also time for pickpockets to dig into the pant pockets of harrowing passengers. Well, this was the case of male pickpockets. Now, the women. In the crowded ladies compartment when the ladies standing side by side are busy talking to each other talking good or ill about their husbands, in-laws or children, women pickpockets board the train to sell small time wares that are liked by the womenfolk. When the women passengers turn to such women to buy something, they take a chance and rob their purses and anyhow make their way out. Earlier, there were a lot of purses that were stolen but now with passengers carrying expensive mobiles, the pickpockets have changed their target.
In its report, the Government Railway Police (GRP) has stated that in 2019 approximately about 66 mobile phones were stolen every day in the city. The data mentions that the value of the recorded thefts would be around Rs. 2.99 crore. The data has further disclosed that as many as 24,010 cases of phones thefts were registered at 17 GRP police stations last year. The suburban rail network is spread over 350 km from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Khopoli and Kasara on the Central line, CSMT to Panvel on Harbour line and Churchgate to Dahanu on the Western line. Nearly 80 lakh commuters travel in suburban trains daily apart from lakhs of outstation train passengers.
Anup Kumar Shukla Divisional Security Commissioner RPF, “The number has reduced as compared to that of last year. In the year 2018, it was reported that 88 mobile phones were stolen every day in the city. However, in the following year, the number reduced to 66. It’s a combined effort of both GRP and RPF. The GRP is the one which files complaints of the thefts of commuters, while the RPF helps assists it to find the culprits. So, it is teamwork and we are working on it. Our main aim is to reduce the numbers as much as we can.”
However, the number of cases has gone down as compared to 2018 as the GRP registered as many as 32,476 cases in 2018 which on an average comes to 88 such cases daily. The highest number of mobile phone thefts was reported in the jurisdiction of Central Railway’s Kurla and Thane along with Western Railway’s Borivali in 2019.
The highest number of mobile phone thefts was reported in the jurisdiction of Central Railway’s Kurla and Thane along with Western Railway’s Borivali in 2019. Kurla topped the list with 3,306 cases of mobile theft, whereas the other two stations had close to 2,500 mobile theft cases each registered with them. According to the data, the value of mobile phones stolen in 2018 was Rs 3.09 crore while that of those stolen in 2019 was Rs 2.99 crore. However, according to GRP officials, the recovery rate of stolen phones is less than 10 per cent with only 2,319 found in 2019 and 2,517 in 2018. So far out of 5,724 thefts for mobile in 2019, 234 were committed by minors.