Local commuters of the city can hope to get back their stolen phones in the recent past. Government Railway Police (GRP) has formed a special squad to recover traced mobile of Mumbaikar.
Over 4000 mobile phones of train commuters, which were stolen between 2018 to 2021, are traced out but have not been recovered yet.
Out of 4103 total stolen phones traced out, only 822 (398 in Mumbai and 424 in the rest of Maharashtra) were found in Maharashtra including Mumbai, the rest, 3281 are currently in use in other states of the country.
“We have traced 4103 stolen mobile phones, which were stolen between 2018 to 2021. Off these 1102 mobile phones are currently in use in the state of Uttar Pradesh” said a GRP official.
Similarly, 442 stolen mobile phones have been traced out in Bihar and 441 in West Bengal. Apart from that 242 stolen mobile phones has been traced out in Karnataka, 205 in Gujrat and 189 in Andhra Pradesh
Mumbai GRP also traced out 150 stolen phones currently in use in MP and 108 in Rajasthan. Apart from that several mobile phones stolen from the suburban railway network of Mumbai also traced out in Delhil, Tamilnadu, Odisha , Jammu and Kashmir, Assam , Kerala , Panjab Hariyana , Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh.
“To recover these phones not only a special team has been formed but the special fund also arranged for the recovery of these phones,” said an official adding that members of this team have already started visiting the states for the recovery.
“We identified the users of over 4000 stolen Mobile Phones of local commuters which are being used in other states of the country as well as Maharashtra,” said Quaiser Khalid, Commissioner of GRP Mumbai adding that recovery of these phones has already started.
According to a senior officer of GRP, in the wake of the several snatching, robberies of mobile phones a special team has been formed. The team put the stolen phones on electronic surveillance and found that many of them are acting out of Mumbai. During the investigation, it found that thieves were active in Mumbai disposing of most of the stolen phones in far-flung areas of UP, Bihar, Western Bengal.
Asked about the recovery process, a senior inspector of GRP, who is also part of the recovery squad, said ” First we informed the local police station and ask help from them, besides of that in some cases we face strong opposition from the locals ( who is using the phone) because most of cases users are not aware that the phone he is using was snatched or steal from someone.
“Recently during a recovery of stolen from West Bengal, we were surrounded by hundreds of local residents, because the user ( who was using a stolen phone ) belong with a strong community ” he added.
Asked about the modus operandi of phone theft gang active in Mumbai, officials said “The gang members were in touch with agents across the country who buy stolen mobile phones from thieves and snatchers at throwaway prices”
“Receiver ( mostly shop keepers) who purchased stolen phones from snatchers and thieves of Mumbai unlocked and changed their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers, and sold them to his clients spreads in other states”
Number of mobile phones traced out but yet to recover ====4103
( These mobile phones were stolen between 2018 to 2021 from the Suburban railway network of MMR )
In UP ====1102
In Bihar ===442
In West Bengal ====441
In Maharashtra ====424
In Mumbai ====398
In Karnataka ====242
In Gujarat ====205
In Andhra Pradesh====189
In Tamilnadu ====178
In Rajasthan ====108
In Odisha ====40
Jammu & Kashmir ====19
In rest of states ====12