Ahead of polls in 5 states, Mumbai police warn of car thefts

Mumbai, Jan 11 (IANS) Mumbai police have advised Mumbaikars who own big cars or SUVs like Boleros, Scorpios, Taveras and Innovas to be vigilant as they could be stolen for use during the forthcoming elections in five Indian states.

The police warning came Tuesday as theft of vehicles, especially the bigger ones or SUVs has notched a sharp increase in the country’s commercial capital.

Citing figures, Jt. Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said that while in 2010 a total of 1,160 four-wheelers were stolen, the figure rose sharply to 1,540 in 2011.

‘There has been an increase in vehicle thefts and we cannot deny this fact, but we are taking steps to counter it,’ admitted Roy.

When asked specifically if the car thefts were related to elections, Roy said: ‘It is true that prior to elections, vehicle thefts, particularly of four-wheelers, increase.’

Roy added: ‘We have noticed a pattern in four-wheeler thefts. We shall contact the manufacturers to find out why such vehicles are easily stolen. Are there any problems in the locking system or other safety features? We shall try to ascertain this.’

Besides, Roy announced that a dedicated motor vehicle anti-theft cell is being commissioned to tackle the issue and curb the problem.

Mumbai has a vehicle population of nearly two million traversing over 2,000 km of roads in an area of around 425 square km.