Theft cases: Beware of mobile phone snatchers

Shillong, July 28: Cases of theft including snatching of mobile phones and pick pocketing, have been on the rise, even as police found that people from rural areas who come to the city for marketing, have been more vulnerable to mobile phone snatching.

“A number of reported cases of theft and pick pocketing have been on the rise, especially that of mobile phones in busy areas like markets around Shillong City,” Superintendent of Police (City), Vivek Syiem said in a statement issued on Friday.

The statement said that criminals often target cell phones, since they can be easily sold in black market.

Asking the public to be cautious and safeguard their mobile phones at all times particularly in public places, Syiem also advised them to refrain from buying second hand mobile phones from strangers or mobiles without any papers/phone box and charger as they are likely to be stolen items.

“People coming from rural areas for marketing have been more vulnerable to such mobile phone snatching,” Syiem said, while sharing the number of cases registered for reported mobile thefts from 2015 to 2017 till date.

In 2015, there were 127 cases, 2016 (158 cases), and in 2017 till June 31, 60 mobile theft cases have been reported in East Khasi Hills district.

In 2016, only 77 mobiles were recovered.

Police said that a receiver of stolen property is liable to be booked under section 411 IPC, and the punishment is imprisonment for 3 years.

“It has also been learnt that stolen mobiles are sent to mobile repair shops to break/reset the password and, as such, the proprietors of such shops have been directed to only break/reset the password of phones after they are satisfied that the customer making the request has produced documents/ box of the phone to ensure that it is not a stolen phone,” police warned.

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