Burglary in the Time of Election

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In Mumbai, petty thieves have never had it so good. With policemen in the city and its suburban areas being bogged down with terror theories, hoax calls, election bandobast and protecting leaders on the campaign trail, cases of burglaries, chain snatching, robberies and thefts have risen. Secure in the knowledge that the policemen are ‘too engaged’ to chase them at least for some time to come the thieves are getting bolder. They are even driving away with police vehicles.

“Many of them (petty thieves) don’t have a police record. So, it’s difficult to track them. We are overburdened with work and are left with little time for investigation and detection,” says an officer of the Crime Branch.
According to the police website, about 1,498 thefts have been registered from January to March this year. Of these, only 457 have been detected. Cases of housebreaking during the night and day too have seen an increase. With assembly elections in Maharashtra after the Lok Sabha polls, senior policemen feel crime in the city will see a further rise.