As students of Delhi University, we tend to spend a lot of time, travelling to and fro between college and home and more often than not, majority of us prefer taking the metro. Compared to other means of commuting, Delhi Metro is cleaner, air conditioned, convenient and provides a quick service eliminating the possibility of getting stuck in hour-long road traffic jams.
Apart from this, a large number of colleges are in close proximity to the metro stations and are usually not more than a 5 minute auto ride from them. However, considering such huge volumes of people travelling through the metro, it acts as a nice place for pick pockets to operate. Gone are the days when only Jewelry and Purses were the only things susceptible to get stolen. The smart phone revolution has compelled everyone to own a smartphone for themselves, which on an average, is no less than Rs.6000, hence making them a lucrative item to steal.
Sadly, I have been a victim of the same and lost my mobile phone while travelling from Vishwavidyalaya to Laxmi Nagar metro station. Like anyone who lost their cell phone, would do, I got a complaint registered on the lost and found section of Delhi police online portal and submitted a copy of the same at Yamuna Bank police station. Days went by, and eventually I lost all hope of getting my cell phone back.
Interestingly, a few days later, I had the opportunity to speak to a policeman in my vicinity about the same and he, in the course of our conversation explained the negligible possibility of anyone getting their stolen phone back, once lost in the metro.
He said, that these pick pockets operate in a group of 3-5 people and generally spot their target beforehand which is usually when they see someone using their phone. Once that has been done, one of them distracts the victim by slightly pushing while the other person gets the phone out of the pocket while the victim is distracted and hands it over to the third person standing behind so as to prevent getting caught. They usually target students, travelling with their friends/boyfriend/girlfriend as they tend to be less alert and ‘distracted’ (of course).
Once that has been done, they immediately switch the phone off, making it difficult to track the phone even if you have the IMEI number. After that, they get off the metro, take the phone to repairing hubs like Gaffar Market and get the IMEI number tampered. Once that is done, it is almost impossible to track the phone. It is however necessary to get the police complaint registered so as to make sure that the stolen phone is not misused.
Cell phone theft, apart from the monetary loss, also at times causes a huge of loss of data including important documents and memorable pictures. Therefore, it is very important to have your data backed up. Nevertheless, being conscious and alert about your belongings can prove to be really beneficial and save you from a rather heartbreaking (and a pocket-aching) loss.
Image credits: The Hindu