Panaji: Around 190 mobile phones were reported stolen from both visitors and locals in Calangute and Anjuna, which recorded a footfall of several thousand visitors from Christmas weekend to New Year's Eve.
As close to 200 complaints were registered, the north district police busted four gangs of 37 mobile thieves and recovered around 90 stolen phones of ₹70 lakh approx, all within one week.
Goa police arrest 3 mobile-theft gangs in major crackdown
Addressing a press conference at Police Headquarters on Monday, Superintendent of Police (North Goa) Nidhin Valsan said that over the last weekend, Calangute police and Tourist Police jointly cracked down three gangs hailing from West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan-Delhi.
The operation resulted in the arrest of 20 accused thieves and recovery of 60 mobile phones, worth around ₹45-50 lakh.
“These gangs specifically came to Goa with the sole intention of targeting visitors in crowded areas during the festive season. Our police teams were already posted at different places to keep surveillance on suspicious people… With these arrests, we are working to match the recovered phones with the descriptions provided by victims in their complaints,” the officer said.
Anjuna police arrest another mobile-theft gang
On December 30, 2023, the Anjuna police busted another gang from Maharashtra that saw arrests of seven persons and confiscation of 29 high-end phones with a total worth of ₹25 lakh.
“It is a planned action by these gangs. A majority were tourists who lost their phones to these thieves,” the SP said. In all, Valsan said, the district police have arrested 37 mobile thieves and recovered 90 mobile phones from Christmas to New Year.
Numerous parties and events in the coastal belt saw a massive surge in visitors during the last week of December 2023. While Calangute police received 100 complaints of mobile thefts, Anjuna police received 90 such complaints. The total value of the stolen phones is estimated at around ₹1-1.5 crore.