If you are reading this, you have probably been a victim of mobile snatchers sometime in your life. Mobile snatching has been on a rise especially in more crowded cities like Delhi, Mumbai etc. Places like crowded markets, packed metros or trains forms an easy ‘Adda’ for the snatchers. Delhi Metro has been in the news quite a few times this year for a number of mobile snatching cases. A recent report where a family of 14 was busted for carrying out mobile snatching operations all around the Delhi Metro is a prime example of how the issue has escalated recently.
According to some reports, this family of 14-people would eye their victim first and as soon as the metro gets a little crowded the whole team gets divided into two groups. The first group would then distract the victim with small talks while the other group would then snatch the mobile phone and other valuables and slowly pass on to the next member. Thankfully, the Delhi police arrested all the 14 members last week which then revealed that the group would actually steal about 25-28 mobile phones daily.
In another shameful incident, Ukraine’s ambassador Igor Polikha fell prey of another mobile snatcher while he was trying to take a picture of Red Fort. Polikha being a photography enthusiast, decided to visit the Red Fort last week on Friday morning and while he was trying to take some good shots, the snatcher approached the ambassador on the excuse to take a selfie and quickly made his move. While Polikha did try to chase the snatcher, the thief managed to escape. Delhi Police claims that they have a strong suspect, however, no one has been arrested as of now.
The list of incidents spread to various parts of the country and even though police is doing their job, the extent to which this issue has been injected is quite alarming. We have been always told to be extra cautious when we push ourselves in a packed metro, however, things don’t really turn out the way we want once we are there. Nevermind, here some of the tips you can possibly take the next time you sense a snatcher.
1. Avoid hanging your bag at the back: A lot of times we keep our backpacks hanged at the back even when we are crowded with people. Things get even worse when you keep your valuables like wallet, mobile phone inside your backpack. Zipping off a backpack is a cake-walk in a crowded metro especially when there is no place to even turn and see around. As a quick solution, avoid hanging your backpack at the back.
2. Keep earphones plugged into the device: While most of the people do tend to plug in their headphones inside the metro, the percentage drops when you are in acrowded market or an event. Plugging in earphones/headphones helps in two ways – 1) It is a great trick to fool the thief even if you don’t have your music turned on. On the other hand, if you have the music turned on, the sudden disconnection of it acts as an instant alert when the thief makes his move.
3. Try not to keep your device in loose pockets: If not bags, loose pockets is the next best place for your mobile device to be vulnerable to theft. As a quick advice, try not to wear lowers or loose pants with your phone hanging to those loose pockets. Rather, you can hold the device with a firm grip.
4. Avoid talking on your phone while walking in theft-prone places:Yes, this is something we should really keep a note. While for some of you, the safest place your mobile phone can be is in your hands, however, walking through an unsafe area with your phone up near your ear is not a good idea. To further connect with the Pilokhi’s incident, try to avoid excess photography in such areas as well. Not doubting anyone’s grip though. Haha!
5. Enable Find my iPhone or Android Device Manager: Well, this might not work in case of well-planned thefts but if you are lucky enough you might get access to the current location of your device. Enabling Find my iPhone and Android Device Manager will fetch you the device’s current location as soon as it gets connected to the internet. However, the probability of such cases is as bleak as the tip of a hair. I know this is rather a post-theft measure but as a last resort, you can remotely lock or wipe your phone with these apps.
6. Opt for theft Insurance:Now a lot of you might have already opted in for an insurance or theft protection plan for your device. Although most of the insurance agencies currently operating in India are pathetic at their service, it is still better to have a theft protection plan in place rather than completing risking the device with absolutely no hope to get it back.
So if your daily chorus involves travelling through crowded places, we hope the above-mentioned tips come in handy. Also, do let us know your experiences and measures in the comment section below.