But not all of his tribe was as unsuccessful as him in the past few years. From mobile phones to cars and from cattle to jewellery, thieves, robbers, burglars and dacoits in India, in five years, stole items/property worth 10 times the cost of Atal Tunnel PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Saturday.
Of the Rs 32,892 crore worth items stolen between 2015 and 2019, property worth less than a quarter of this have been recovered.
A state-wise analysis of the value of items stolen in 2019 shows that five states — Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh — reported 58% (in terms of value). While Maharashtra remains on the top consistently in the five-year period, Gujarat makes it to the top five in a couple of years.
Data also shows that homes are the most unsafe places to store valuables followed by keeping them on-person while one the road. Crimes at residential premises and roadways account for 63% of the value of items stolen in 2019. In terms of cases, 61% of all cases were reported either at people’s homes or on the roads.
Stolen motor vehicles, cash & jewellery and electronic gadgets account for 70% of the total value of stolen items in 2019, and the trend is more-or-less similar in the previous years.
Former Tamil Nadu DGP SR Jangid, who successfully led an operation to arrest dacoits of the notorious Bavaria gang says that unlike law and order, the world of crime is complex and riddled with many challenges.
“There are two key aspects: Detection and recovery. Recovery is very difficult as most criminals dispose of stolen property quickly. But one way to increase recovery is to expedite detection to do which the forces must equip themselves with the right technology,” he said.
In 2019, the value of recovered items was 31% of the total value of stolen property, which is less than 35% reported in 2018. It was 26% in 2017, 15% in 2016 and 16% in 2015.
Value Down, Cases Up
Of the Rs 32,892 crore worth stolen property, 30% was reported in 2016, which saw an 18% increase from 2015. From 2017, the value of items stolen has been decreasing. In 2019 — data for which does not include cases from West Bengal — it was nearly 10% less than the previous year.
However, cases have grown consistently. Compared to 2015, cases jumped 34% in 2019. Year-on-year analysis shows the highest jump in 2017, with 14% more cases compared to 2016.
Totally, 35.5 lakh cases were reported in five years — 28 lakh were thefts, 5.3 lakh burglaries and rest were robberies and dacoities.
SK Umesh, a retired Karnataka police officer said: “Such crimes are mostly committed by repeat offenders. We need an overhaul to ensure such criminals are not at large, but in most cases, barring dacoity and violent robberies, thieves get out easily. The police also, in many cases, underplay IPC sections.” Jangid too echoed Umesh’s views.