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Old 6th September 2010, 22:44   #1
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Default Gangs, Road Theft & Street Advice

I performed a search first to see if this was already done, but since it hasn't I feel it is simply my duty to let Delhi T-BHP members (and members of the general public who read this section) what could happen to you, if you let yourself be fooled.

Incident 1 - November 12th, 2009

Time - Approx. 19:00 hrs
Area - Barafkhana Chowk, aka Azad Market, New Delhi

I was driving back from work and was stuck in the typical Azad Market jam near the gurudwara. Anyone who's aware of this locality will know how nightmarish the traffic can be here. It's absolute hell sometimes. The traffic had stopped for the red light and I was somewhere in the midst of it, in front of a blue line bus and patiently waiting my turn. There's hundreds of people everywhere, pedestrians, bikers, drivers, tempos, buses, etc. Suddenly a thumping sound shakes my car and I got extremely startled. A youth comes to the other side window in front and shouts at me saying I've hit his bike.
Please note, I keep my windows up and doors locked as a rule while driving. With the windows still up I gestured and asked what he wanted. He kept shouting and asked me to roll down my window so I could talk to him. Again, this was the passenger side front window. The traffic was still at a standstill and people were turning to look what the ruckus was about. His friend/accomplice at the back starts thumping my car even more, the sound was pretty loud inside so I panicked some more. After 15 - 20 seconds I rolled down the window to ask him what he wanted clearly. In a matter of 2 seconds, he stuck his hands in, picked up both my phones that lay on the passenger seat and ran away. Please also note here, that he left my wallet there. These were professional mobile thieves. It took me at least 5 seconds where I looked and re-looked at the seat to notice my phones were ACTUALLY gone. I got out of the car in the middle of the traffic jam and looked around in disbelief. No one was willing to help me so I drove to the police station, which was just 200 meters down the road. Let's not get into what a lousy job the cops did in writing an FIR for me (they cheated me there too, they wrote I 'lost' my phone in Azad Market instead of mentioning a robbing. In my completely devastated condition, I quietly signed the FIR and moved on. It's been several months since this incident, and I had mentally moved on, wiser and better as a driver, which brings me to Incident No. 2.

Incident 2 - Today i.e. September 6th, 2010

Time - Approx. 13:00 hrs, bright daylight
Location - Near Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi

I'm not sure what the road is called. On google maps it says Jawaharlal Nehru Marg. Basically when you take a right after Rajghat to go towards CP, near the Delhi Stock Exchange, Turkman Gate area, there's a place with a medical college, and a donkey and horse bazaar or something at the end of this road. On this road, at 1pm in the afternoon, similar situation. This time I wasn't the victim.
I noticed this youth walking along the traffic, just generally walking in between cars and bikes and autos. The traffic was crammed and nobody was moving. He walks in front of my car and falls very strangely onto the maruti 800 in front of me against the rear left side of the car. It seemed really weird because he fell like a badly acted drama. My friend, my sister and I were in my Palio behind the m800 and just reacted like "what the hell?" when this guy did this move. Now. He started shouting at the m800 driver (single driver) asking why he hit him etc etc. The m800 driver was a generously built gentleman, i.e. very large and turned around to shout at the youth. Again, in a matter of 2 seconds, an accomplice jumps into the scene, shoots his hand into the DRIVER'S WINDOW, takes his phone from the middle of the dashboard and both of them ran like the wind through the traffic. Onlookers, i.e. auto drivers, my friends and I, bikers etc. shouted as they ran past and disappeared. The big man got out of the m800 just looked around in disbelief and drove on.

This incident brought back memories of my own unfortunate experience with these kind of cheating gangs and made me extremely upset. I don't feel like driving when I see these kinds of things happening around me. But then again, I tell myself repeatedly that this is the daily reality we call life. Some people steal, some people don't. Please take the following precautions while driving in Delhi.
  • Tint your windows to the maximum legal limit as permitted. Even blocking some of your visibility means deterring thieves like this from spotting your precious cargo.
  • ALWAYS and ALWAYS keep all four doors locked when driving! Please I can't stress this enough. I always lock my doors, and I always tell drivers to lock all four doors when I'm in the car. Call it paranoia if you want, but I just call it being street-wise.
  • Keep your windows up. If you aren't using the AC, roll down your windows just 20%. Not all the way down. ESPECIALLY in crowded areas and traffic jams.
  • Do not keep valuables in plain view. Do not keep valuables on the dash board. If you want, keep your phone, wallet, etc. in provided compartments. If you want to keep anything outside, keep it near the gear stick. Not in visible range!!
  • If someone tries to suddenly get your attention from BEHIND you, or from a strange angle, do NOT take your attention away from your front. Remember, when you didn't see the accident happen, it probably didn't happen.
Please guys, I really feel bad today, and I don't want people going through this ordeal. Stay safe and all questions are welcome.

~ByDesign
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Old 6th September 2010, 22:57   #2
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@ByDesign - I sympathize with you.

Thugs played the exact same trick on my uncle and robbed a nokia E71 placed on his front dash - from the passenger side - with a passenger seated!!

I have asked him 10001 times to drive with glasses rolled up always. But he never paid heed to my words, until he lost his mobile and important data in it.

As for me - I always drive with my glasses rolled up, except for open highways after rain (explained this in another thread). And doors ALWAYS remain locked.
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Old 6th September 2010, 23:01   #3
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So sad to note the modus operandi. I guess people will stop listening to genuine calls, if they decieve like this.

In 2003, when I was in Cochin, a friend of mine offered lift to someone at midnight, and when he reached home, found his vallet & cellphone missing. I stopped giving lift eversince this incident.

Last edited by NFS : 6th September 2010 at 23:05. Reason: small grammatic error corrected
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Old 6th September 2010, 23:25   #4
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We are facing similar mugging incidents in bangalore.

Check this out.This thread has been reporting once such incident everyday.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...ost-466-a.html
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Old 6th September 2010, 23:34   #5
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I feel that a better way to come out of such a situation is to be audible enough from inside your car and tell the person outside that he may report the incident to the police if he wishes to. As rightly brought out,"Accident not seen is accident not happened."
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Old 7th September 2010, 10:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
@ByDesign - I sympathize with you.

Thugs played the exact same trick on my uncle and robbed a nokia E71 placed on his front dash - from the passenger side - with a passenger seated!!

I have asked him 10001 times to drive with glasses rolled up always. But he never paid heed to my words, until he lost his mobile and important data in it.

As for me - I always drive with my glasses rolled up, except for open highways after rain (explained this in another thread). And doors ALWAYS remain locked.
Strangely enough, in incident 1, one of the two phones I lost was a nokia E75. Was brand new too! Anyway.Thanks for your post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by susan3004 View Post
I feel that a better way to come out of such a situation is to be audible enough from inside your car and tell the person outside that he may report the incident to the police if he wishes to. As rightly brought out,"Accident not seen is accident not happened."
Agreed. Better be safe than sorry.
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Old 7th September 2010, 11:30   #7
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I'm glad that I read this article. I always keep the windows rolled up and all doors closed but if someone would actually have started banging against my windows I would definitely roll them down.

However, I drive a swift and one cannot really place anything on the dashboard as it wouldn't keep in one place due to the dashboard build. I keep my cellphones and wallet in the cupholders near the gear and feel its safe there. I mean with the kind of incidents you've shared it seems like that the victim's cellphone was on the dash and not near the gear where it'd be difficult for the thug to reach.

With most of the new cars I feel there isn't really a dedicated space for keeping things ON the dash like it used to be with M800, Indica etc. I mean the dash is all curvy and nothing would stay on it even if one wanted to.
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Old 7th September 2010, 11:52   #8
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@ByDesign - Thanks for sharing the incident & warning us.

In a few years from now, we can see living with a car is going to be more than dangerous. Frankly speaking, I'm not surprised with both the incidents as things are going to get worse in the future. Just imagine such situation, when someone buys a new car or car with "For Regn", people threaten to damage it unless they give pay a "protection fee"; as you enter into your own appt's parking lot, there's someone pointing knife at you asking for money; gangsters throw stones at windshield instead of eggs on highways; people stealing car tires instead of monograms & number plates. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Govt declares that right side driving/riding on the last lane of a 6 lane highway is considered legal .

Last edited by aargee : 7th September 2010 at 11:53.
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Old 7th September 2010, 12:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@ByDesign - Thanks for sharing the incident & warning us.

In a few years from now, we can see living with a car is going to be more than dangerous. Frankly speaking, I'm not surprised with both the incidents as things are going to get worse in the future. Just imagine such situation, when someone buys a new car or car with "For Regn", people threaten to damage it unless they give pay a "protection fee"; as you enter into your own appt's parking lot, there's someone pointing knife at you asking for money; gangsters throw stones at windshield instead of eggs on highways; people stealing car tires instead of monograms & number plates. I wouldn't even be surprised if the Govt declares that right side driving/riding on the last lane of a 6 lane highway is considered legal .

Man you really have scared me! Would it be THAT bad!!

I just got to know about fake accident fraud in Pune where people follow you to your house and start demanding money saying that you just hit someone. Spine chilling it is!
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Old 7th September 2010, 12:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
Man you really have scared me! Would it be THAT bad!!
Trust me Anil; it is going to happen & what I've penned down is in mild tones.

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Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
I just got to know about fake accident fraud in Pune where people follow you to your house and start demanding money saying that you just hit someone. Spine chilling it is!
Yes, I read that just now; I would say, that's easy to handle. All it needs is just guts & friendly neighbors. Just pick up the phone or ask someone in the house to call up the cops immediately through other cell phone while we manage the mob. Once the cops are on the scene, start taping the scenes & conversation.

Or simply start calling up your friends for help but keep speaking in front of the mob as if you're calling up your relative inspector or CI.

Trust me, even the above tricks would stop working after few years as the muggers will then start planning & target their victims. Very sad state of our country!!!
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Old 7th September 2010, 12:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post

Trust me, even the above tricks would stop working after few years as the muggers will then start planning & target their victims. Very sad state of our country!!!
I think it is sad state of the world! Mugging I guess is present in almost all the places on earth!

But the thing is what if the thugs smash all the glass windows before leaving? It would anyway amount to as much loss!

I think the only way out is to PRAY!!
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Old 7th September 2010, 13:23   #12
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thanks for sharing this.

My colleague lost his Sony Ericsson phone in a similar way around 3 weeks back in Delhi.

They were 4 people traveling in M800. It all happened at Preet Vihar, busy signal next to V3S mall.

The red light turned green, just when the traffic was starting to move, this guy started thumping on the left side back of the car. All started looking behind and asking what happened. Since the windows were opened one guy came and took away his phone kept in the front. Nobody realised that the phone was stolen.

Now the other guy thumping the car vanished, people from behind started honking, seeing the traffic moving, they started off. A lady pulled up next to them and told them that your cell is taken away. Then he realised that it was a set up and they have lost their phone.

Surprising is the fact that the phone was kept in the instrument panel placeholder, the thief took it by putting his hand between the steering wheel and the drivers hand. Amazing haath ki safaai.

I would like add one more precaution.

Do not keep your phones on the outer side while talking (if windows are open), chances of phone snatching by bikers are very high.
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Old 7th September 2010, 13:36   #13
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Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
I think it is sad state of the world! Mugging I guess is present in almost all the places on earth!
Yes, but not in such lower forms; I mean like, not to the state of affecting one's own life.

If you don't mind a slight OT, similar things exists even in US, but its called robbing; where a black points a gun asking for a dollar!!! You're spared if you give him the purse. But those are not done in public roads or in day light except for very few areas. But these are on day light on public roads; like Tanwaramit says, just distract & loot.

There were quite a few tricks like this in Chennai few years ago...
1. When a person is out of the bank, say with a bag & money, a moron drops ink behind the person & pretending to be a passer by, another moron says that the person's shirt has stains on the back. When the person turns back to see the stains, the bag is looted. But this is plan & loot.
2. Or someone drops a Rs 10 or Rs 100 denomination on the road for distracting the person's attention. Once the person bends down to take the money, his bag is stolen.
3. Like wise, if the person is out of the bank getting on to his car, someone says his tires are flat. When he gets down to see, the bag is looted
4. Again, someone sticks a large sheet of paper on the rear windshield of the car. When the person gets down from the car to remove the paper sheet, the car or the bag is looted

However, cops cracked such incidents & made public aware of such incidents using sign boards at bank, railway station & other public places. So this is much under control here in Chennai. However, I'm expecting to hear the Bangalore's mugging incidents soon in Chennai.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
But the thing is what if the thugs smash all the glass windows before leaving? It would anyway amount to as much loss!
Yes, this is also bound to happen. Some deep rotten morons who cannot stand to see people travelling by car can do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
I think the only way out is to PRAY!!
Other option is not buying a car, even if you could afford.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
Do not keep your phones on the outer side while talking (if windows are open), chances of phone snatching by bikers are very high.
That's one of the reason attributing to the problem - carelessness. No one seems to be vigilant & alert these days.

Last edited by aargee : 7th September 2010 at 13:41.
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Old 7th September 2010, 13:45   #14
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Some years back, while I was working in Gurgaon and residing in South Delhi. I used to commute every night around 01.00 AM. Few instances were scary with bikes following you and stopping you and asking what you got, I got slapped, in Delhi winters jacket and gloves taken away, rode back shivering. But after some instances, I carried a Maruti Zen's hatch shocks. Couple of times I escaped, but when confronted, I stood my ground and looking at that glistening metal shock springing out makes some nervous!! Bad but got to use it few times, mostly to scare.

Once during election time, cops stopped my car near Ayanagar and asked me whats the use of baseball bat. I looked at him and said, my protection and showed him my knife wound, He just let me go.

@aargee you are right, times are changing, over the yonder there's worry in the clouds.
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Old 7th September 2010, 13:55   #15
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Such thefts can be prevented by Presence of mind.

1)Drive with your windows closed,and doors locked.
2)Never open side windows for suspicious characters,even if you want to just lower an inch or two so that you can hear the person.One cant pick the phone from that small gap.
3)Never drive with expensive electronics either on seat or on top of dashboard,almost all cars have holders for these items.
4)God forbid,if something goes wrong,always keep something not too lethal for self defence in car.
5)If someone tells you that you hit him\her or a vehicle or whatever,when you actually didnt,simply overhear,and try not to react.
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