Chain and mobile snatching incident in Chennai

22nd December 2014
I had to write this after reading a report on NDTV today (22.Dec.2014),
There was an incident yesterday. It was about 8 pm, I was coming back from a movie. I took the CIT colony to reach back to the T.T.K Road. I was on the CIT colony second main road and took the left on Bishop Wallers Ave to join T.T.K Road, I saw a scuffle. Two bikes were down. Another two bikes had stopped to respond. There was a couple on one, the guy got down and started to threaten the two kids on the bike that was down. The pillion had taken off, the guy who was riding took off, then he came back to take the keys and crossed me when he was getting off. I was still on my bike, grabbed his collar. His collar slipped, held a string around his neck and the string gave away. The guy was saying it was not me, it was not me when he was running.
Watchmen from the buildings near by and other by-passers had stopped to see what was happening. With in seconds, it was all over.
The couple who were down were on their feet and the lady behind had slight bruises nothing serious.
The couple who had chased these guys were hit by these guys on their way before they took on this road. They were chasing these guys to have their ears filled. After taking this road, the guys were slowing near a girl on a mobile, but lost control over sand and fell down, taking the other couple along with them.
The girl was asked to leave.
We did not see these guys go on with their plan if they had any. They were still guilty of something which made them flee the place. Even if we had caught hold of them, I would be for asking them what happened than to go on a mob mentality and trash these guys.
I went back to the place where I was trying to grab the guy. The guy had dropped the keys in the commotion. I opened the utility box and found the RC in a name if a guy in T.nagar, not resembling any of the two guys and the insurance was last renewed in January/2011.
Assumption: The bike was a stolen bike.
When the incident was unfolding, if everyone had jumped in, we could have nabbed those guys. I see the same kind of a break they say in the Social networking space. 1 - 9 - 90. One percent are active participants, 9% keep the active participant active by sharing, writing comments, etc. 90% only are mere observers. The whole network will be running by this 1% people.
The same happened. There was this guy who was chasing this guy. We two had stopped to back this guy. Others were only waiting for a story to unfold right in front of their eyes and to keep away.
The scene changed even more when we were waiting for the police to arrive. The watchmen, one ofter the other were backing off and asking asking each other to leave. The couple who were taken down by the boys also wanted to leave before  the police could come.
I had no business, but wanted to be with this couple who were waiting for the police. I did not want them to stop helping in these situations seeing everyone around have better work than what they are doing out of the way. Even they were not able to take the long waiting period. The other biker was also standing with us.
The police had come. We explained what had happened. Handed over the bike keys and the documents, they took the bike to the station. No other formalities. We left the place.
IMO there were two things that could have made this incident better.
Support from general public: One cannot handle a situation like this. If people group, they can stop these from happening. The weapon these guys carry if not a weapon, it is the fear they impart on you. One cannot over throw the fear in most cases, a group can over power the fear factor and make it work against the offender.
I was very disturbed  by one such incident when I was in my 9th. There was a chain snatch at a gun point. This happened in Music academy signal (Very close to this current spot). These spots are close to the Ex-CM's house, not too far away from another Ex-CM's house.
No one helped the lady. She was down, after the guys fled on the bike, people were back to business, surrounded to see how the lady was crying. Very few came forward to help her. We took her to a near by phone booth (No mobile phoned those days), called her husband, gave her water and went away. I was carrying my Scout's dagger with me to school for months after that incident. I hated all those guys who were just there like baked potatoes when this was happening right in front of their eyes.
People can over power the fear factor. If two can stop 10 or 20 ppl, can those 10 or 20 cannot stop the 2. It is a mind game.
The same spectators if in the middle of the scene will turn back at the audience and ask the same question, why people standing around me did not help me. 
Support from Police: Police have to educate and create a fear free environment in reporting these crimes. Only if these incidents are reported, it will reveal the true picture and volume of these crimes. Those people who were going away knowing police are on their way are not offenders, they were only taking themselves away from not being tangled in any complication this may lead to. Credits to all those Police men who are not on the good side and to movie/media for projecting and magnifying only such police behaviour.
Is there a fix??? Can I do anything better being what I am???
Image courtesy of Mugger at

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