Bhubaneswar: The cases of mobile phone snatching have become rampant in the city with a number of gangs operating in the city.
Police have also recovered more than 1,000 stolen mobile phones in the past 18 months.
The police said Janpath and the connecting road between Kalinga Hospital Square and KIIT Square were the most vulnerable stretches. “The snatchers often target victims, who talk on their phones while walking. Besides, motorcyclists riding while talking over their phones are also susceptible,” said a police officer.
On November 2, Chandrasekharpur police arrested a 32-year-old snatcher and recovered 41 high-end phones and tablets worth Rs 7 lakh. The cops found that the accused, Pramish Kumar Swain, had sold the stolen phones from his shop near Pipili tollgate.
The police said that while the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers of the snatched phones helped trace these phones, some snatchers managed to change the IMEI numbers, making detection impossible.
The IMEI is a unique serial number allotted to every GSM phone and used by networks to identify valid phones.
Deputy commissioner of police Satyabrata Bhoi urged the users to be extra alert. “We have arrested more than 40 mobile snatchers in the past two months and also asked police stations concerned to return the phones to the original owners,” he said.