Devaraja police launch drive to check two-wheeler thefts

Take custody of unlocked vehicles, return to owners after verifying records

The Devaraja police in the city have launched a unique drive to nab two-wheeler thieves who have become a bane for city-dwellers.

The drive is expected to prevent theft of unlocked two-wheelers or even those that are left in parking lots with keys on.

Police have been keeping a tab on unlocked vehicles by chaining them till owners come and produce relevant documents. The drive has been underway since August 2015 in the police station limits, which covers a major portion of the Central Business District (CBD), in the city.

Ramesh, of Kyathamaranahalli, got a first-hand experience when he had to get his bike released from police custody after he left it unlocked in Krishnaraja Hospital. He said he was thankful to the police for their timely intervention.

“I had recently come to KR Hospital to tend to my mother who is being treated here but in a hurry, I left my bike unlocked. When I returned to the parking lot, I did not find my bike where I had left it. I was disappointed as I assumed that it was stolen but on making enquiries, I learnt that the police had shifted the bike to a safe place and would return it if I produced relevant documents,” he said.

Ramesh said he finally found his bike chained and locked safely near the main entrance of the KR Hospital on Irwin Road side. He said police handed over the vehicle after he submitted a copy of the RC book and his driving licence.

Police personnel Y Gangadhar and Praveen said that they work in two shifts of 6 am to 3 pm and 10 am to 6 pm and make their rounds of the hospital to spot unclaimed vehicles. The personnel said they shift vehicles that are not claimed till 6 pm and release them if owners produce relevant documents. “We receive copies of the documents, verify them, collect their mobile number and other details, get their signature and hand over the vehicle. If somebody cannot produce the copies of the RC book and DL immediately, because most of the people who come to the hospital are under stress, we accept a copy of their Aadhaar card. In case of any doubts, we also verify the ownership of the vehicles on the mobile app of Karnataka Vehicle Registration,” they said.

“As per the direction of our Inspector S Nagesh, we inform security guards on the premises before shifting vehicles. While returning vehicles, we try to make riders aware about parking vehicles properly and about checking locks before leaving them in parking lots,” they said.

The personnel said they do not meddle with the handles of vehicles but instead keenly observe the direction of the key hole of ignition slots to assess whether they are locked or not.

Sub-Inspector K Lepaksha said a similar drive to check theft of two-wheelers has been taken up on Sayyaji Rao Road just outside KR Hospital on the perpendicular side up to Guru Sweets, near Devaraja police station on Dhanvantri Road up to Shivarampet and near Olympia theatre on the parallel and perpendicular roads of Sayyaji Rao Road.

“On an average, our personnel secure around 40 two-wheelers per day under three beats. At least 25% of them are found along with keys. While 10% of people argue and react negatively, 90% of them are happy and laud our efforts in safeguarding their vehicles. As we have begun the beats during daytime, vehicle thefts have come down drastically but increased during the night. We are now strengthening the beats during night time,” he said.

Encouraged by our initiative, similar beats have been started under the areas of Lashkar police station and also Nazarbad police station, he said.

“Miscreants need just 30 seconds to steal a locked two-wheeler and 10 seconds to steal an unlocked bike. He said riders should take the responsibility of their belongings,” Lepaksha said. People must also be alert about anyone offering to sell a vehicle or a valuable at a lower price and inform the jurisdictional police as it can be a stolen vehicle, Lepaksha said.

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