Since the last couple of months, Mumbai is witnessing a continuous rise in the cases of vehicle thefts. The Mumbai police has recently arrested many thieves however, the cases are not reducing. The Mumbai police attribute this spurt to the recent Bihar elections and slowdown in the economy, resulting in large scale job losses.
In the month of October, the city reported 322 vehicle thefts which was much higher compared to April when the city was under strict lockdown norms, in April, the city had witnessed 84 vehicle thefts, in the following months 158, 235, 241, 250 and 293 vehicles thefts were reported in May, June, July August and September respectively.
The spurt in vehicle thefts in more than the vehicles thefts reported last year as well. In August 2019, 226 vehicles were reportedly stolen from the city, followed by 209 in September and 219 vehicles in October last year.
The Mumbai police attribute the spurt in cases of vehicle thefts to job losses and the recently held elections in Bihar.
As new job opportunities are scare, many thieves have turned to thefts for easy money.
In states like Bihar whenever there is state elections the number of vehicle thefts in the city rises, as mostly sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are used in election campaigns that are stolen from cities like Mumbai, said a police official.
The recovery of these stolen vehicles is nowhere near the actual thefts. The recovery rate is mostly around 20-25 percent as most of the vehicles especially cars are sold out of the state after changing their papers with similar cars that have been scrapped. The thieves make sure to change the engine and chassis number of these vehicles making it even more difficult to trace.
In October this year, 322 vehicles were reportedly stolen however, only 59 have been recovered so far. In September 293 vehicles were stolen but only 49 were recovered. In August 250 vehicles were reportedly stolen from the city and only 36 were recovered. The month of May saw the worst difference between stolen vehicles and number of recovered vehicles. In that month total 158 vehicles were stolen but only three were recovered.