Shillong, Dec. 2: Vehicles, including two-wheelers, are the most-hunted assets in Meghalaya with criminals accumulating property worth crores of rupees.
At regular intervals, police have been able to arrest numerous carlifters, most of whom hail from outside the state but receive support and guidance from local goons.
There have also been various instances where drivers of commercial vehicles were abducted before being killed by miscreants who take away their vehicles to other states of the Northeast or even outside.
At the same time, the police have been able to decode the modus operandi of carlifters where all vehicles which have been stolen from places like Guwahati are brought to Shillong. Here the number plates, colour and other aspects of the vehicles are changed before these are handed over to a third party.
Data available with Meghalaya police for the period 2008 until 2012 demonstrate that the value of properties stolen has been substantial.
In 2012, 824 pieces of property worth Rs 8,82,62,761 were stolen from different parts of the state while only 139 were recovered, amounting to Rs 2,12,89,347 only (See chart).
Most of the property stolen last year related to vehicles, including two-wheelers, while communication and electronic equipment occupy second and third places respectively.
In 2011, 982 pieces of property were stolen, of which 183 were recovered. The items stolen were worth Rs 13,28,36,405. Of this, items valued at Rs 88,77,495 were recovered. Like last year, in 2011 too, most stolen assets were motor vehicles — 233 in all.Of these, 20 were recovered.
Similarly, in 2010, 952 properties worth Rs 6,13,53,634 were stolen and out of these 232 were recovered amounting to Rs 1,02,55,264.
Moreover, in 2009, 895 properties, valued at Rs 5,36,28,510 were stolen while only 201 of these, worth Rs 95,79,430, were recovered. In 2008, 1,238 items were reported to be stolen. These were valued at Rs 7,98,52,320. The number of recovered properties were 296, valued at Rs 83,49,971.
From January until September this year, the number of cases reported under the heads dacoity, robbery, burglary and theft were 54,57,128 and 468 respectively.