Nepal | April 06, 2020

Theft cases on the rise across country

Himalayan News Service

More than 20 per cent of burglars turn out to be repeat offenders

Kathmandu, August 3

A total of 2,874 cases of burglary were reported throughout the country in fiscal 2018-19 against 1,628 cases in the previous fiscal, an increase of around 43.3 per cent.

Statistics released by Nepal Police show that an average of nine cases of theft took place daily in 2018-19.

More than 50 per cent of the crime took place in broad daylight in unattended houses and rented rooms of working families, mainly in Kathmandu valley.

With increase in theft cases, the number of arrests also went up in 2018-19. Police arrested 4,117 persons on theft charges in 2018-19 compared to 2,351 in the previous fiscal, an increase of approximately 42.8 per cent. Despite the upward trend in overall cases of burglary in the country, the valley witnessed significant decrease.

As many as 437 cases of burglaries were reported in 2018-19 compared to 648 in the previous fiscal. It accounts for 32.5 per centdecrease.

On March 12, police busted a burglary racket, which targeted unattended shops and houses and was active in and houses and was Kathmandu for the past four years. The suspects were Omraj Shrestha, 41, of Ramechhap and Paras Prasad, 33, and Santosh Podar, 32, of Indian State of Bihar. State of Bihar.

Police raided their rented rooms and confiscated stolen goods worth around one million rupees. The seized goods included a huge quantity of sanitary wares and silver utensils. A van and Rs 70,000 in cash were also confiscated.

An alleged robber was arrested after a shootout in Attarkhel, Jorpati, on June 7.

Police said they opened fire in self-defence as the notorious robber Chhiring Tamang alias ‘Kaka’ of Kavre tried to attack the cops who were trying to take him into custody.

He sustained bullet injuries below the knee, in the left leg. According to Metropolitan Police Crime Division, a gang of four led by Tamang were hatching a plot to rob a jewellery shop in Koteshwor.

On July 15, police arrested three persons, including Sabin Khawas, 26, of Jhapa, with an illegal firearm and bullets from a hotel in Gongabu. They were allegedly planning to rob a jewellery shop in Kathmandu. Khawas was arrested for kidnapping on 2 March 2017 and was later released on 20 November 2018 from Dillibazaar Prison.

While the law enforcement agency has made modest gains in its fight against organised crime such as trade in small arms, extortion, forgery and peddling of drugs, explosives, fraud and kidnapping of late, they have not been able to  curb property crime. Deputy Superintendent of Police Hobindra Bogati, spokesperson for Teku-based Metropolitan Police Range said burglaries would decrease if house owners or tenants took care of their cash and valuables or deposited them in banks and did not leave their houses unattended.

He said police were having a tough time dealing with property crimes due to involvement of the same groups and persons in burglaries after doing time in jail or being released on bail.

More than 20 per cent of the burglars turn out to be repeat offenders, due to the provision of lenient punishment in such cases.

Police attribute the decline in theft cases in the valley to stepped up vigilance on the part of security agencies against theft and robbery suspects. The campaign focuses on controlling thefts both during the day and at night in unattended houses and rooms in core city areas and the Ring Road.

The special units deployed from MPCD and MPR are keeping vigil against and frisking the suspects in crowded areas, bus parks, marketplaces and residential areas, among others.

A version of this article appears in print on August 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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