In the annual crime review meeting held by the Thane police, statistics compiled from across the city showed there were 547 cases of chain snatching registered in 2012, of which only 268 were detected. The number was only marginally higher in 2011, when 543 cases were registered, and only 232 were detected.
Elaborating on the growing menace, he said, “Earlier, there used to be inter-city gangs, where the accused would stay in one city and operate in another. Now, we are seeing the emergence of inter-state gangs, where the accused travels to another state, commits the crime and then returns. This poses a challenge of detection.”
Thane police have even applied the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) to several chain snatching cases, but while this has helped reduce the menace for a while, crimes are again on the rise, police said.
Other crimes witnessed only a minor rise or fall as compared to 2011. While there were 127 murders registered in 2011, the city witnessed 110 cases in 2012. Rape cases rose from 79 in 2011 to 106 in 2012.
Raghuvanshi said the second challenge was burglaries. There were 254 day-time burglaries and 849 night- time burglaries registered last year.
Crimes against women went up from 734 in 2011 to 849 in 2012. Police said a majority of them were cases of harassment.
On crimes molestation and eve-teasing cases, he said, “Many of these cases don’t get registered because they are not getting reported. Cases need to be registered with us so that we can act on them. We have also set up women’s cells in every police station and deployed personnel, uniformed as well as plain clothes, at crowded places such as bus stops and market places,” Raghuvanshi added.
‘Unsuccessful in solving murder of Dombivali resident’
Raghuvanshi accepted the Thane police were unable to solve the murder of Snehal Gaware, 21, a Dombivali resident who was murdered in 2007. Her body was found stuffed inside the bed cabinet in her own house. In 2011, after several detentions, the Kalyan crime branch had arrested her boyfriend Whiten Rathod, but later released him due to lack of evidence.
“It is true that we have not been successful in solving the case. The Kalyan crime branch is investigating the case and we had changed the investigating team, but even that did not help,” he added.