DIMAPUR, April 10 � The scenario of vehicle thefts in Dimapur has reached such an alarming stage that one cannot leave one�s vehicle unattended even for a few minutes anywhere in the commercial town even in broad daylight. Fifty/fifty chances are you might never see it again. And even worse � the likelihood of recovering your lost vehicle is pretty slim.
Data obtained from Dimapur police have revealed that in the last three months of the current year itself, from January till April 9, at least 129 vehicle theft cases have been reported at the four Police stations of Dimapur.
East Police has the highest number of cases registered with the figure at 47 and rising.
129 cases in 80 days suggest that at least three vehicles are being stolen every two days in Dimapur. Out of the 129 cases, more than 80 involve two wheelers. Bolero is the second favourite among car lifters, mainly because it is easy to unlock. Incredibly, even a JCB figures in the list of stolen vehicles.
More outrageous is the fact that the places/localities from where vehicles get stolen are no longer confined to the �secluded dark places� or homes without security gates or fencings. As police reports indicate, vehicles are being snatched anywhere and everywhere and at any time, with the daring thieves lifting vehicles from market areas, hospitals, church compounds and even during funeral services.
For instance, on the night of Sunday last, two motorbikes were stolen from the Dimapur District Civil Hospital premises. The owners of the two wheelers were busy inside attending to their wives who were in labour.
Only a day earlier, one Bolero was taken away in broad daylight from Chumukedima bazaar area when the owner parked his vehicle on the roadside and went into a shop to buy some groceries.
A professor from Kohima had his vehicle (another Bolero) stolen while attending a funeral at 4th Mile.
Even the police and media persons have not been spared. A police official had his two-wheeler stolen last week, while another two-wheeler was snatched from inside the premises of a media house some weeks back.
Car lifting is not limited to �crime syndicates� or gangs of robbers, as people commonly think. With auto theft now transformed into a grand crime, it has become a growing crime that almost any crook or even a couple of friends in a drunken stupor can casually commit.
The reason for the flourishing crime is the easy �steal and seal a deal� factor, as there are reportedly kingpins and contacts thriving in Dimapur.
Just recently, on April 6, three young vehicle lifters, identified as Hovito Achumi, Shikato Achumi and Kukhato Yepthomi, were arrested by East Police personnel with bunches of master keys, replicated car keys of various vehicles, screws, wrenches, pliers, black tape, fake registration number plates and other tools.
In this case, the trio had reportedly travelled all the way from Zunheboto to steal vehicles in Dimapur. However, the trio claimed that they had picked up the bag of tools from the railway station.