Mobile snatchers have become creative. After thieving a device, reselling used to be difficult. Now instead of finding a shady buyer, smartphone thieves are running mobile screen repair operations in the guise of local repair shops.
This case was brought to notice by a recent bust done by the Delhi Police, where mobile snatchers opened a mobile repairing shop in Wazirabad, North Delhi. They were using parts salvaged from the stolen mobile phones to fix the phones of customers who consulted them for mobile display replacement and other services.
It has been reported that two alleged mobile snatchers have been arrested in this case, named Harish and Tushal. The duo was earning a profit of more than Rs 6,000 for every mobile phone.
A Police spokesperson and investigator explained their modus operandi in detail, "First, they snatch the mobile phone and then disassemble it. The accused then install the parts of the snatched mobiles in customers phones who have given them for repair work." He added, "More than 100 phones that were repaired at a North Delhi's shop is likely being installed with stolen parts."
The snatchers-cum-mobile repairers have taken apart more than 50 phones recently, which was given away by the different mobile components. Nupur Prasad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) divulged that the accused were arrested near Hardev Nagar during a normal patrol.
For a simple mobile screen replacement, the alleged phone snatchers used to charge between Rs 2,000-5,000 for. Whatever they could make use of the stolen phones, apart from reselling, was profit for them.
Last year, the annual crime report of the city counted 6,642 pending snatching cases. 2017 was a harder for Delhi Police with 8,070 such cases previously. By the end of 2017, 5326 convicts were arrested and almost 57% of the cases were solved. 96.66% were first-time offenders who also happened to be unemployed, illiterate, and school dropouts.
The case is being handled by Wazirabad SHO PC Yadav. The mobile snatchers could be a part of a big gang as they’ve been running the mobile screen repair and parts replacement shop for over 3 years.