Chain snatching -- how to protect your child and yourself?

Neha Gupta Mittal
1 to 3 years

Created by Neha Gupta Mittal
Updated on Dec 18, 2020

Chain snatching how to protect your child and yourself
Reviewed by Expert panel

Chain snatching is a common crime form that requires easy planning and speed. It is often carried out by motorists who take advantage of distracted pedestrians. What better target than a mommy with a child? While we drift away answering our child’s vague questions with patience and creativity we can easily fall prey to chain snatching.

Where And When A Chain Snatching Incident Can Happen?

The crime spots are roads that we use every day. Lanes, by lanes, but what matters is the timing. Generally these incidents happen in afternoons or late evenings. Stretches where there is minimal predictable activity and fewer crowds. This reduces the probability of the thieves beings nabbed.

In fact as per recent observations these chain snatchers have been seen choosing pothole affected roads as the speed of both pedestrians and two wheeler riders is slow on these patches making them easy target.

Also, they opt for areas that have no signals or lesser traffic which allows them to escape as fast as possible from the incident.

How Do Chain Snatchers Operate?

The robbery happens in minutes. They have a set up where there are at least 3 people involved. Generally there is a watcher, a rider and a snatcher. The watcher updates the other two about targets and their exact locations on the chosen street. Maximum cases have been recorded where the thieves are on two wheelers mostly bikes that let them speed away. Recently they have also chosen auto rickshaws.

The rider focuses only on taking the vehicle closer to the target and then fleeing the next moment twisting and turning his ride to avoid getting caught. The snatcher acts at ‘the right moment’ and ruthlessly snatches the chain least concerned about how it may hurt the one who is wearing. You may get a bruise, or you may also bleed due to a cut.

They also distract the victim by stopping by the way to ask questions about directions and the locality. While the victim is trying to answer, they snatch and flee.

The mastermind in this entire fiasco is the watcher. He would sit on another motorcycle and give the snatchers information on patrolling police officers, the target and escape routes.

After snatching the chains, the mastermind would go to the spot to see if the police were being called or if any witness was following the motorcycle. He would even mislead witnesses with false directions, in which the chain-snatcher fled.

Post that they park the vehicle used for robbery and desert it. They come to collect it after the heat around the theft has settled. The stolen items are sold to nearby jewelers and proceeds are used by the thieves.

Precautions And Protection Of Self And Child

  1. Always keep your child on the inner side
  2. Let the child carry his/her own bag so that your hands are not too full
  3. Be alert and aware. Pay full attention to who is around you when you are in public even while you are speaking to your child
  4. Know your destination and route
  5. Avoid text messaging and talking on the phone. Because then you are easy target, you are talking plus you have a child along
  6. Use the buddy system. If you must walk alone, choose open, well-lit, and well-traveled areas
  7. At night, avoid taking shortcuts through deserted areas such as parks, playgrounds and vacant lots
  8. If you sense that you are being followed, change directions or cross the street. If the person persists, run to the nearest place where you'll find people
  9. If need be and your child is big enough alert him/her also so that they are not in a state of shock
  10. Enter a nearby shop or café if you sense trouble
  11. Do not allow a stranger to follow you to your doorstep. Go to a public place where you can call the police whenever you feel threatened
  12. If you are confronted, Cooperate! Give the criminal what he/she asks for. Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions. Concentrate on remembering a description and call police immediately. Time is of the essence.

An alert mother is a safe mother. You will also groom your child into becoming an aware citizen.

Did you like the blog on how to protect your child and yourself from chain snatchers? Do you have some more ideas/tips to protect oneself from these criminals? Please do share your views and feedback in the comments section below.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Nov 18, 2017

We need to protect our children from any mishaps that could hurt them both physically as well as emotionally. as incidences of chain snatching are on a rise, these tips, would really come in handy to protect our children and ourselves from it . thanks for sharing.

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