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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

crime photo that makes one quaver - robbed at knife-point !!!

Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear. Among the types of robbery are armed robbery involving use of a weapon and aggravated robbery involving use of a deadly weapon or something that appears to be a deadly weapon. Highway robbery or "mugging" takes place outside or in a public place such as a sidewalk, street, or parking lot.  For long one thought, that certain forms do not take place in India, especially in places like Chennai – for example mugging in public places – though cases of chain snatching gets reported, robber threatening public in common people have been extremely rare (or so one thought !)

A search in web revealed that at Port Chester, a Chase Bank branch at N. Main Street was robbed.  Police stopped a Grand Central-bound Metro-North train to search for the suspect. Port Chester police said that a man, black, thin, around 25 to 35 years old and wearing a tan jacket and a dark cap, robbed the bank of about $1,700 by handing a teller a note. No weapon was shown and an alarm was activated.  At Denville, there was a report of a township woman being robbed at knifepoint by a masked man.   Reports state that the victim was getting out of her car about 6:30 p.m. when the suspect approached and demanded her purse. She held on to the purse as he grabbed it; but after a brief struggle, he pulled the purse from her, police said.

In our Chennai city, this incident sends a shiver in the spine.  A woman was threatened at knifepoint and robbed of her gold jewellery near her house in Thoraipakkam.  A footage of the crime is getting circulated in social media and newspaper sites; the  police are yet to identify the suspect while the victim is yet to recover from the shock.

The footage, shows the robber, armed with a huge knife, threatening the woman, Velam Senthil (39), a school teacher. The robbery took place around 2.30 p.m. on 21.12.14.  Ms. Senthil, a resident of MCN Nagar, Second Lane, was going home when the robber rammed his motorcycle into her two-wheeler. He also had an accomplice. As the woman fell on the road, the robber, a well-built man, was upon her, and threatened to kill her if she did not hand over her jewellery. The video footage, recorded on a mobile phone by a person living in a house near the crime scene, shows the woman removing her jewellery and watch, shivering in fear, even as other motorists zoom past.

After further threatening the woman, the robber and his accomplice are seen speeding away on their motorcycle, even as the shell-shocked victim pushes her two-wheeler home.  The victim was reluctant to approach the police in fear of the robber. Residents of MCN Nagar alerted the police control room about the robbery ~ while a person could take video footage for close to 2 and half a minute, none chose to alert the neighbours / police, shout, organise, chase or do anything to stop the incident.  Or is that practically what people can do ? – may be the person taking footage was old and was afraid too ! How would the common would have reacted, how the Society expects them to react ~ and are there lessons to be learnt ?   Should the video be circulated in Social Forums at all – would it not have been better to have it handed over to Police ONLY !!!

In another crime incident reported in Times of India – knife wielding gang Of 3 barged into a home at villivakkam,  attacked and tied up a 38-year-old woman before robbing her of 20 sovereigns of gold jewellery worth around `4.2 lakh.   It is reported that around 1.30pm, S Soundari opened the door of her Agasthiar Street residence to go to a Mogappair school to pick her daughter up when she realised she had left her mobile phone in her bedroom.  Leaving the door open, she went in to fetch the phone. When she returned to the front door, she was shocked to see three men standing there, police said.  The badly shaken woman mustered courage to ask them what they were doing in her house when one of them hit her on the head with his hand. They slapped her and, brandishing knives, asked her not to raise an alarm. They asked her to remove the gold jewellery she was wearing and hand it over. When she refused, one of the gang slashed her lips and nose, leaving her with bleeding injuries. Soundari fainted when the trio tore her dupatta and tied up her hands and legs and gagged her, police said.

As soon as she came to, the men demanded that she disclose the place where the family had stored cash. But they heard some noises from outside and the gang members locked her in the bedroom and fled with the gold jewellery. The house is located in a corner of the ground floor of a two-storey building. None of Soundari's neighbours were aware of the incident when it happened. After about 30 minutes, one of her neighbours happened to hear her moaning, rushed in through the open door and untied her. Soundari told police the robbers appeared to be in their 20s and that two looked like they were residents of the area.

There are eight houses in the building where four of the tenants are bachelors. Police are investigating to see if any of the burglars had visited the bachelors' house earlier. There were no CCTV cameras in the building and police are trying to find out if they can find anything from footage of CCTV cameras elsewhere in the locality.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Dec 2014.

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