Vehicle Theft Crisis Grips Pune: 5,822 Vehicles Stolen in 3.5 Years, Valued at Rs 24.68 Crore

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Pune, 31st March 2024: Pune is grappling with a surge in vehicle thefts. Over the past three and a half years, a staggering 5,822 vehicles, including two-wheelers, autorickshaws, and cars, have been stolen from the city, amounting to a total value of Rs 24 crore 68 lakh. Despite the extensive CCTV network spanning the city, thieves continue to evade detection, leaving the stolen vehicles untraceable.


While CCTV surveillance focuses primarily on monitoring traffic rule violators, it has proven ineffective in apprehending vehicle thieves. Instead, hefty fines are being levied on those flouting traffic regulations, posing a significant challenge for the police in combating vehicle theft.


The highest concentration of vehicle thefts is observed in Zones 5 and 4, with Hadapsar, Mundhwa, Loni Kalbhor, Kondhwa, Bibwewadi, Market Yard, and Wanowrie Police Stations in Zone 5 reporting the most cases. Zone 4, encompassing Khadki, Vishrantwadi, Chaturshringi, Chandan Nagar, Yerawada, Airport (Vimantal), and Lonikand Police Stations, also experiences a notable number of thefts.


The frequency of vehicle thefts has intensified in recent years, with a staggering 400 vehicles stolen within two and a half months since January 2024, amounting to approximately Rs 1 crore 51 lakh 84 thousand. This translates to six to seven vehicles being stolen daily, with some households experiencing repeated thefts. The inability of the police to curb this trend has placed a burden on ordinary citizens.


In response to the escalating thefts, specialized anti-vehicle theft squads were established, yet their effectiveness remains questionable. Despite efforts to divide responsibilities between North and South units, these squads have struggled to make significant headway in apprehending vehicle thieves, prompting scrutiny of their efficacy.


Stolen vehicles often undergo modifications to alter their identification, with some used in illicit activities such as liquor smuggling and burglary. Additionally, some vehicles are trafficked outside the district or even abroad, further complicating recovery efforts.


The following data illustrates the alarming escalation in vehicle thefts:


– In 2021, 1,529 vehicles were stolen, valued at Rs 6 crore 49 lakh 42 thousand 932.

– In 2022, 1,901 vehicles were stolen, with a total worth of Rs 7 crore 14 lakh 50 thousand 656.

– In 2023, 1,992 vehicles were stolen, amounting to Rs 9 crore 53 lakh 17 thousand 64.

– As of March 17, 2024, 400 vehicles have been stolen, valued at Rs 1 crore 51 lakh 84 thousand 908.


These statistics underscore the pressing need for enhanced measures to combat vehicle thefts and ensure the safety and security of Pune’s residents and their property.