House burglary and theft have significantly come down in recent years inside the valley


Police have arrested 207 petty criminals in the past 20 days from the capital in a covert operation conducted ahead of the festive season.

Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, made public these small time criminals today to journalists. Police had nabbed most of them from public transportation. Likewise, some of them were arrested from public places.

Among the arrested are pickpockets, bag snatchers, mobile and chain snatchers, among others.

Of the arrested, 46 offenders have been sent to judicial custody after completion of investigation as per the order from Kathmandu District Court. Police are still investigating 161 arrestees.

Superintendent of Police Ramesh Basnet of Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, told THT that they had extensively mobilised cops in civil dress inside public vehicles and public spaces as petty crime increases significantly during the festive season. According to him, almost all the pickpockets worked in groups inside public vehicles. "Each group comprised at least six offenders who worked in pairs of three sub-groups. The offenders acted like strangers to find the target and cornered them by creating artificial crowds inside vehicles and finally looted money or other valuables from them."

Police revealed that pick-pockets normally communicated through sign language while in action. The most common sign languages include 'Da' for money, 'Kaan' for mobile phones, 'Rame' for targeted person, 'Kasi' for the master pickpocket, 'Tanko Da' for victims with more money, 'Jutko Da' for the victim with less money, 'Chapa' for men, 'Duldai aayo' for signalling police personnel, 'Mam' for the driver, 'Male' for bus operator, 'Tapki' to signal run away or retreat, 'Akal ja' for asking accomplice to move ahead, 'Chichal ja' for asking accomplice to move back, among others.

Before operating the covert operation, police had contacted public vehicle operators to help them in their operation to identify thieves.

Swindling people, stealing and petty crimes normally rises in urban areas, especially before the beginning of Dashain festival in the country.

Such thugs normally target foreign employees who come to the country after years of staying abroad to take blessings from their family.

House burglary and theft, which used to be common earlier, have significantly come down in years inside the valley, according to police. The increasing number of CCTV cameras in almost all the shops and homes and the increase in population are thought to be two major reasons for the decline in cases of house burglary these days.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 5, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.