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`Diversion' cases cry for attention

Tricks are many to cheat people. Attention diversion cases are on the rise in the city and the police make no headway in tracing the gangs behind such offences, writesMarri Ramu.

SO ALARMING is the spurt in cases of `attention diversion' that the city police have to introduce a separate classification in their crime records to analyse them.

There were 19 such cases till April 15 this year in the twin cities where conmen took away money and jewellery from gullible people keeping the police on tenterhooks. Routine policing measures are of no use to prevent such crimes. Different modus operandi used by offenders make the task of the police more difficult. Gangs use different tricks to divert the attention of people and this makes investigation an uphill task.

Housewives are found to be easy prey for the gangs which claim to be experts in polishing gold ornaments. They polish an ornament or two to gain confidence. They make the victims keep all ornaments in a bowl of hot water and ask the women to take out of the ornaments after a few minutes. Later, the women find their valuables missing. Seven such cases were reported in the city so far this year.

The other trick, often put to use in the city nowadays, is that some persons pose themselves as policemen and target woman pedestrians. They scare the woman walking alone by telling her that a major crime is committed in the locality and it is not safe to wear gold. They persuade her to remove ornaments and pocket them without the knowledge of the victim.

Aiming at cash

Taking away cash in the guise of helping in counting currency notes at banks after befriending customers is another method. Several such crimes were reported a few months ago at various banks.

Snatching bags containing cash or jewellery after distracting attention of people by pointing to some notes on the ground is another diversionary tactic.

Misleading people with false hints of dirt on clothes is one more technique.

This was used for the first time in recent past when a railway employee was relieved of Rs. 1 lakh at Tarnaka.

Incidentally, not a single offence of these kinds has been detected. In most of the cases, investigation by the police is confined to the particular offence reported in their jurisdiction.

As different gangs are striking at various places, this limited investigation is leading the police nowhere.

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