Phone snatchers target Bengaluru's CBD

Phone snatchers target Bengaluru's CBD

Miscreants on bikes swoop on unsuspecting people busy talking/texting on their phones and snatch their phones.

Mobile phone snatchers have started targeting the central business district (CBD), especially MG Road, with three incidents having been reported recently.

The modus operandi is straightforward: Miscreants on bikes swoop on unsuspecting people busy talking/texting on their phones and escape with their phones. According to the police, three such incidents have been reported in the recent past, but shopkeepers and autorickshaw drivers say there are many more which go unreported.

One of the victims was Furquan Moharkan (26), a journalist. He was walking on the busy MG Road near Cauvery Emporium around 9.45 pm when a bike-borne duo approached him, snatched his mobile phone and sped away.

“This is not the first such incident. I spoke to a few autorickshaw drivers nearby and learnt that another person was robbed in the same style a week before,” Moharkan said.

On January 11, Ajith Pai (38), a corporate communications professional, lost his phone on Thimmaiah Road. Pai was speaking on his phone on a dimly-lit stretch around 8.45 pm when a duo on a Honda Activa robbed him of his phone. Pai filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police.

Also read: Phone stolen? Here’s what you can do

After that incident, a netizen tweeted: “Bangalore is going down the way of Delhi. Soon it’ll also be the city people avoid for safety reason.”

In October 2018, an IISc professor was robbed of his iPhone in the same fashion on Museum Road by two criminals riding a Honda Activa. The professor had filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police.

The city police have been unable to trace the criminals but said they had information on a few gangs. 

“It is difficult for us to trace the theft as these gangs are aware that police will knock on their doors if they use or sell the stolen phones,” said a senior police officer. “If the stolen ones are iPhones, they dismantle and sell the spares in the market. If they are other Android phones, they tamper with IMEI numbers and sell those phones in other states.”