HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Although motorcycle theft in Kathmandu Valley has dropped recently, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division says, property crime still ranks above in the national average.
According to MTPD statistics, reported cases of bike theft decreased from 1,938 in 2009/10 to 1,532 in 2010/11 and 1,107 so far this year.
DIG Ganesh Raj Rai, MTPD in-charge, attributed this to the ‘revised strategy of intelligence-gathering coupled with stepped-up search operation to locate stolen bikes’.
The MTPD frequently deployed undercover cops to various districts, especially in the Tarai and remote areas of the Hill where people have access to rural road networks but lack presence of law enforcement officials to intercept stolen bikes.
DIG Rai revealed that around 99 per cent of motorcycles lifted from the Valley are sold to clients in the rural parts of the country.
“Bikes stolen from the Valley are rarely used here due to intensified screening of driving licence and vehicle ownership certificate.
According to investigators, racketeers sell a two-wheeler for Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000 depending on its condition, brand and lot. “Motorcycles have become easier and more lucrative target for thieves than burglary as they can ride away with a bike parked outside the house within minutes,” he said.
MTPD has received 1,107 complaints of bike theft in the Valley so far this current fiscal year. Of them, 180 stolen two-wheelers were recovered from elsewhere in the country and handed over to the rightful owners. Likewise, 15 persons involved in property crimes were referred to Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka to press charges.
MTPD sent as many as 80 bikes to customs office to put them on auction after nobody claimed ownership despite repeated notices.
According to investigators, they receive an average of four complaints of motorcycle theft daily. Most cases are due to negligence on the part of owners.
“Investigation suggests that cases of motorcycle theft will decrease by more than 50 per cent only if the owners take extra precautions before parking the two-wheeler in the Valley, where around six lakh vehicles ply the road every day,” an investigator suggested.
“Insurance system of vehicles has also made owners more negligent because the owners have the notion that they will be able to claim the insured amount even if their vehicle is lost and do not care about protecting their property and taking measures to prevent theft,” he added.
Officials said hospital premises, Buddhanagar, Shantinagar, Balaju and Bhaisepati were the hot spots for motorcycle theft.