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Patuli proves a soft target

Patuli has turned out to be a favourite target for burglars.

Six instances of burglaries and armed robberies have been reported from Patuli over the past four months, while police have been able to crack only one.

According to police records, most cases of house theft and robbery on southern fringes have been reported from the bustling neighbourhood off the Bypass.

The police attribute the high rate of crime to the pocket’s easy road and rail connectivity which makes it easy for the burglars to flee to adjoining districts after the crime.

Residents said that while police vehicles are visible on the main road, there is almost zero vigil on the interiors of the neighbourhood.

“We don’t find any police patrol near our home. Police vehicles are only seen plying down Raja SC Mullick Road. There have been at least two thefts in our locality recently but patrolling is yet to be intensified,” said a resident of Ashoke Road who refused to be named.

“We are old and often read about burglaries in Patuli. My tenants have been targeted. Tomorrow it could be me,” said Mrinal Kanto Roy, 78, the owner of the house whose ground floor was burgled early on Sunday.

Ranadhir Biswas and his family had moved into the ground-floor apartment of Roy’s house only four months ago. “We selected Patuli as we thought it would be safe. But our confidence has shattered after what happened on Sunday,” said Roy.

Sources said though the strength of officers at Patuli police station is almost the same as the adjoining police stations in Jadavpur, Survey Park and Regent Park, the location of Patuli has proved to be advantage for gangs to flee back to their dens after a heist.

“There are two railway stations in the Patuli area — Baghajatin and New Garia. We have cracked several cases where burglars from South 24-Parganas travelled to the city in a train at night and left after the operation in an early morning train,” said an officer.

The police till now have managed to crack the armed robbery in a house on Kendua Main Road, where an elderly woman and her teenage son live.

Among the five other cases, there were twin burglaries at Baishnabghata Patuli Township on Dashami, two house break-ins on Ashoke Road in Ganguly Bagan and a theft at a police residence in Patuli.

An officer attributed the spurt in crime to inadequate staff strength at the police station compared with the area it has to cover.

Some officers also attributed the trend to the real estate boom across Patuli.

“Apartments blocks, small and big, are mushrooming and most such buildings have no surveillance. They are easy targets for criminals,” said a senior officer at Lalbazar.