ISLAMABAD-The incidents of shoplifting, purse snatching, trespassing, pick-pocketing and break-ins are on the rise in the capital city, as the police look the other way being it a petty crime.

According to figures obtained from the police record, the number of street crimes reported in the city so far this year had considerably increased with petty theft making up the bulk. Most of the incidents are not reported.

In some cases, the victims do not approach the police and quite a few times, the police have been found reluctant in registering such cases.

The crime is not considered serious when compared to some other serious crimes and quite often goes unnoticed. The victim would hardly approach police station to report the loss and it has never been a concern for the police. Even a genuine complainant would face lot of difficulty in getting registered such a case at a local police station which discourages them not to approach police in case of such mishaps.

No reports, nothing on record so noting to worry about, this is how the police take it. Literally speaking, the shoppers have been left on the mercy of the well-organised gangs active in the city’s busy and posh markets.

City’s posh and busy markets as Super, Jinnah Super, Aabpara and Karachi Company are the soft target of the pickpockets, cheats and swindlers. Car break-in incidents are quite frequent in Super Market and Jinnah Super Market and the city has seen a sharp spike in such cases in recent past.

Men and women are equally involved in the petty crime. However, pick-pocketing is one of the few types of crime committed mostly by women. According to the police officials who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity, 4 in every 5 petty thefts were committed by women aided by trained kids.

As far as break-ins are concerned, a group of two to three persons would execute the plan. They would be resorting to violence in case the victim resists upon sensing that something wrong is going to happen with him, which contributes to the worst aspect of the case.

As petty crime continues unabated in the federal capital; car break-in remains the most irritating one for the victim as he not only loses money but also other valuables which in majority cases are hard to recover. Thieves use a variety of sophisticated techniques to break into cars parked in posh markets of the capital and take away valuables of the citizens. Incidents at the posh markets are a regular feature now with the recovery rate almost zero.

The criminals adopt mind-boggling techniques. According to the officials, one of them would distract the victim by asking an awkward question or bumping into him and the other doing his job.

Most probably, the unknown person would engage the victim by asking some question while some of his accomplices will quietly open rear door of the vehicle which remains open as he locks the vehicle through remote control.

Then the criminals take away the valuables.

As far as pick-pocketing is concerned, the criminals work in groups. One would push up against the potential target and the other would reach into the pocket and grab whatever he finds there. Poorly-dressed women and young boys mostly between 12 to 14 years of age would roam in the city markets in search of their prey. They would steal wallets or some other thing in the pocket often applying distractions.

Usually children are taught how to steal and bring stolen goods back to their ‘protector’. Busy markets, public hangings and even funerals are their preferred occasions. The overcrowded streets of the city’s busy markets are the perfect hunting grounds for pickpockets.

The officials said that police try to reach the culprits through latest digital techniques.

The police have a limited data bank of the suspects as, according to the officials, some have convictions for a number of theft and similar petty crime. They said that these problems of petty crime can be dealt with only by having sufficient police presence in plain clothes in the markets.