At least 25 shopkeepers were detained, and 35 mobile phones seized, during a joint operation conducted by police and Rangers at Karachi's Serena mobile market on Tuesday, police officials said.
According to District Central SSP Arif Aslam Rao, law enforcement officials had decided to conduct a raid after receiving complaints regarding the sale of stolen and snatched mobile phones at the market located in the Sakhi Hasan area of the metropolis.
At the end of the operation, 25 shopkeepers were held for questioning and 35 mobile phones and other devices were taken into custody for further investigation, the senior police officer said.
The year 2018 saw a spike in mobile phone robberies in the city, with more than 14,000 phones snatched as compared to 12,187 in 2013 — as revealed during a police briefing given to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah last month.
Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam had claimed that the number of mobile phone snatching had gone up due to the registration of First Information Reports, as in the past victims were reluctant to register cases because of poor law and order situation.
Police also found that 30 per cent of all mobile phone snatching took place within the territorial jurisdiction of a mere 11 police stations of the city.
Four police stations each fall in Karachi’s East and Central districts while the remaining three police stations are in Korangi district.
Police have termed the period between 7pm and 11pm as the peak hours during which most of the cellphone snatching incidents take place.