Delhi reported the highest number of vehicle thefts, ahead of all eight Union Territories and 28 states. According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a vehicle was stolen every 12 minutes in the city in 2019. In Mumbai, a vehicle was stolen every four hours and in Bangalore, this happened every two hours.
More vehicles, cars and two-wheelers are stolen in New Delhi than mobile phones. Data from the Delhi Police showed that three lakh vehicles were stolen in the city between 2011 and 2020.
Data from the police also showed that vehicle thefts barely slowed down even in the middle of the pandemic. Even as the city was under lockdown between March 15 and 30 last year, 83 vehicles were stolen each day.
“The lockdown not only restricted the movement of people but also increased the presence of security personnel on streets and borders. But that made little difference to auto lifters as they still managed to steal 1,243 vehicles in just 15 days,” said an unnamed police officer.
The number of cases is not decreasing either, rather it is rapidly increasing. A total of 15,667 vehicles have been stolen in the city in just this year until June 15. During the same period in 2020, the figure stood at 13,130 vehicles.
A majority of cases still remain unsolved. Only 11.94 percent of vehicles stolen in 2020 were recovered; 72 percent of the recovered vehicles were two-wheelers. Experts believe that the rise in vehicle theft is due to the prevalence of organised criminal groups with well-established networks and disciplined operations.
The Delhi Police, however, maintained that vehicle theft is not something that the department is worried about.
“We take several measures to check the rise in vehicle theft. They include analysis of the vehicle theft pattern and modus operandi of the gangs. Identification of affected areas and time zone is done and deployment of police staff is done accordingly. Meetings are also held with resident welfare associations (RWAs) for restricting entry-exit points of their colonies during night, deploying security guards and installing CCTV cameras,” said Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)