Rise in mobile thefts baffles policemen in Bengaluru

It also becomes difficult to track a stolen cell phone once it is taken out of the state

Bengaluru: The city has seen a sudden increase in the number of mobile phones being stolen over the last few days. But the police find it almost impossible to trace the phones as thieves change and tamper with the IMEI serial numbers of the phones immediately after stealing them. The police have now started an awareness campaign asking the people to install anti-theft apps to help police catch the offenders.

Since January 2014, the city police have registered 8,486 mobile theft and missing phone cases. The police said that it is easy to steal a mobile phone and dispose it of without a trace. As the number of phones being stolen is high and such phones are taken out of the state circle or used after two to three months, the police find it difficult to trace them.

“There is a market for stolen handsets in the city and a number of software options are available to change the IMEI serial numbers. Once the IMEI number is changed, it becomes almost impossible for us to crack the case,” said Mr Hemant Nimbalkar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).

It also becomes difficult to track a stolen cell phone once it is taken out of the state. “It is a challenge, despite us having all the details,” he said. There are a number of shops in National Market, Burma Bazaar, S.P. Road and J.C. Road where IMEI numbers of phones are changed for just Rs 500 to Rs 1,000. After the number is changed, the phones are sold at a cheaper rate.

The police are requesting the people to download anti-theft apps which allow users to delete their data on the phone and also lock it remotely. But many mobile phone losers alleged that the police do not take mobile theft cases seriously and merely hand out acknowledgement slips.

( Source : dc )
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