Gangs employ novel tricks like using pretty women to throw victims off-guard. P.S. 1 techie gets targeted every 2 days in the country's IT hub
Every two days, a techie in Bangalore gets robbed of his money and valuables.
Statistics show there have been over 30 such cases registered across eight police stations in the city in the past two months, as the well-earning techie, with his laptop and other expensive gadgets, makes a tempting target for conmen and robbers.
MiD DAY looks at some of the latest tricks being employed to relieve young working professionals of their cash and valuables in the country's IT hub...
IBM employee Babu C's Kasturinagar house. He was heading home after work when a young woman asked him for a lift near Nagawar Ring Road. Babu obliged, and was attacked by four men in a Maruti van who relieved him of his cash and valuables.
The honey trap
Babu C (26), an IBM employee, was returning home from work on his bike when near Nagawara Ring Road he noticed a young woman asking for a lift, which Babu was happy to provide.
As they set off, a Maruti van intercepted them and before Babu knew it, a gang of four had dragged him into the four-wheeler.
Babu was beaten, and his gold chain, earring, wallet and expensive wristwatch taken from him, an estimated loss of Rs 50,000.
The police have not made any progress in the case yet. It seems there is also some CCTV footage the police have asked for but have not been able to lay their hands on.
"We wanted to get hold of the CCTV footage to identify the gang and arrest them, but Babu was not co-operative, so there could be more to the story," said Assistant Commissioner of Police (K R Puram Sub Division) N Narasimhaiah. The officer did not elaborate on where the CCTV footage the police wanted was from.
Abhilash M V was at Kalasipalya to purchase car spare parts on Saturday when, while parking his car on the busy Siddaiah Road, he was beckoned by a man and asked to check something under the car.
He stepped out of the car to notice nine currency notes, which he picked up before moving on.
But then, he noticed the rear door of the car was ajar, and that his laptop bag was missing. "I lost everything," Abhilash said.
In a variant of this method, vehicle owners are told someone behind them is calling them, and when they are looking that way, any valuables in their car are stolen through an open window.
An e-mail circulated by IT companies asks techies to beware of a new trick employed by thieves where sticky tapes are pasted on the rear windshield of a car.
Just as the driver gets out to check what it is, the thieves snap into action, making away with laptops and other costly things that may be in the car and in a few cases the car itself!
Some old tricks too
There are also some other methods of deception that have been tried, tested and perfected over the years, to the extent that people still keep falling victim to these.
One of these is temporarily blinding the victim by throwing muck in his eyes, snatching his belongings and making a run for it.
This method also has the advantage of the victim being, most of the times, unable to identify the culprit if he is caught at a later point in time.
Then, there is also the 'fake police method', in which conmen pose as cops and call victims over on roads to tell them to be careful with their laptops and other valuables since there have been many robberies in the area.
The victims are usually 'helped' by the men posing as police to keep their valuables in a safe place, such as their car.
Only later do the victims find the bag that contained their laptop or that briefcase where they had deposited their gold chain now contains worthless stones.
TN, UP gangs?
The police suspect the hand of several gangs from Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh in these crimes. They say over 30 cases have been reported across police station limits in the last two months.
The joint commissioner of police has directed the DCP's to step up beat systems to check the menace.
The police have also resorted to making announcements on public address systems and organise public awareness programmes to warn people in their respective areas.