10-year-old boys detained for stealing motorcycles in Karachi

The boys claimed they gave the stolen motorcycles to a mechanic, who in turn let them ride ‘altered’ vehicles

Sajid Rauf April 10, 2019
The boys claimed they gave the stolen motorcycles to a mechanic, who in turn let them ride ‘altered’ vehicles. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Clifton Police claimed to have taken into custody two adolescent boys, who had been stealing motorcycles from Zamzama over the past few days. The police team claimed to have seized six stolen motorcycles on the indication of the young thieves, besides arresting a motorcycle mechanic who allegedly cajoled them into committing the thefts.

Clifton SP Suhai Aziz told The Express Tribune that the police had received several complaints of motorcycle thefts in the Zamzama neighbourhood over the last week. On checking the footage of CCTV cameras installed in the vicinity of the crime scenes, one of which had gone viral on social media, investigators had found that the suspects were young boys. Police had launched a hunt for the young suspects using their network of informants.

The young suspects were traced to their homes in PNT Colony, from where they were arrested on Tuesday. "The boys are expert in picking the locks of motorcycles and starting them without keys using switch wires," she explained.

On Tuesday morning, a team of Clifton Police personnel took into custody the two motorcycle lifters and seized a stolen vehicle from their possession. During interrogation, the young boys, who both claimed to be 10-years old, revealed that they had stolen three motorcycles. Police recovered at least five more stolen motorcycles on their indication, besides arresting a motorcycle mechanic, identified as Saddam.

According to SP Aziz, the young boys used to steal the motorcycles at the behest of Saddam. Both the children belong to poor families. The father of one of the children works as a painter while the other's father is employed as a mechanic.

Modus operandi

The two boys told media that they had been stealing motorcycles parked in the streets around the Zamzama neighbourhood for the past week and had stolen three vehicles by the time they were caught. One of them used to bypass the switch by connecting the wires while the other kept watch.

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They claimed they did so at the behest of the mechanic, Saddam, who in turn let them ride 'altered' motorcycles. The boys added that Saddam had instructed them to bring a new motorcycle this time.

For his part, Saddam claimed that he gave the stolen motorcycles to another man, who he identified as Shayan. The latter, he claimed, was involved in multiple robberies and used to threaten him if he didn't have any motorcycles to offer.

Saddam also said that he never asked the children to steal the motorcycles. Rather, it was the children who brought the stolen motorcycles to him, asking him to sell their parts.

Counselling sessions

SP Aziz said that the arrested motorcycle mechanic was the real culprit and had been exploiting the children as they were too young to know the difference between right and wrong. She added that the children were in their formative years, which is why the police were carefully considering how best to deal with them. "We will not register a case against the children," she told The Express Tribune. "The real culprit was the mechanic who enticed these children to commit the thefts. The FIR will be registered against him," she added.

According to SP Aziz, the young boys would be handed over to their parents and later, the police would arrange for counselling for both the boys and their parents through a local non-governmental organisation. 

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2019.

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