KOLKATA: Bowbazar police recently registered an FIR on a bicycle theft. Indrajit Dutta, a resident of B B Ganguly Street found his cycle, worth Rs 15,000, stolen from his residence. So did Tangra and Kalighat police after one Rohit Agarwal and another Deep Mukherjee reported cycle thefts. While the former’s cycle had disappeared from his home at night, the latter’s went missing from the Santoshpur minibus stand.
The pandemic has not only led to a rise in use of cycles, it has also led to a rise in their thefts, it seems. Since June, 87 complaints of cycle theft have reached Lalbazar.
“There are no unique numbers on cycles and many of the stolen ones were new. Hence, it has become a high-profit exercise in the city,” said an officer at Lalbazar. For the first time in several decades in Kolkata Police, the watch section, along with the anti-burglary wing, is taking interest in such cases.
What makes the development interesting is the sharp drop in theft of motorbikes. Figures from previous years show that there has been no rise in thefts of motorbikes and scooters, claimed a senior IPS officer. The drop — from an average of as many as 16 a month to around eight to ten — indicates the “change in priority” of thieves.
“Cases have been reported from Sinthee, Behala and Sealdah-Muchipara areas. We used to have bicycle thefts early in our career. The crime index board used to have the last row dedicated to theft of cycles. Motorcycles replaced it over the years,” an officer of the anti-burglary wing said.
Bicycle enthusiasts advise simple steps to prevent thefts. “Never use a cable lock; it can be easily broken. Double locks are better. Also, decent locks are expensive and heavy. Thieves tend to go for cheaper, weaker locks,” said Aritra Basu from Behala.