A man was arrested by police after snatching a necklace of a woman on April 22 at the Ambalangoda railway station. Police identified the suspect 24, a resident of Kosgoda. Based on the police media report, the victim was onboard a train when the suspect snatched her necklace. Train commuters chased the suspect while shouting for help, catching the attention of the patrolling police officers who immediately responded and arrested the snatcher.

Police recovered from the suspect the victim’s necklace reportedly worth Rs. 315,000 with two pendants.

Last year, over 150 necklace / gold chains snatching robberies reported in Sri Lanka. Police warn women to be extra careful with their jewelry / necklace as increase in motorcycle snatch thefts incidents.

Whilst emphasizing that there is an increasing trend with regard to the rate of motorcycle theft and chain snatching cases, the Police urged the public to take precautions.

“You should take all the precautionary actions in order to prevent the crimes in respect of this nature. Especially, those dependent on drugs are involved in these types of crimes. Therefore, kindly take precautionary actions in order to prevent such crimes,” DIG Ajith Rohana stressed.

Snatching Jewellery Gold Chains / Necklaces thefts rise in Sri Lanka!

We can all take steps to avoid becoming the victim of a snatch theft or pickpocketing:

Be alert and aware of the surroundings. Walk against traffic, on the inside of the sidewalk, with handbags kept away from the street side of the curb. Keep a close eye on any moving vehicles, particularly motorcycles with pillion riders. Be cautious at busy intersections and when crossing streets.
Be cognizant of how you carry a handbag, backpack or parcel. Holding it in your hand beside you, or casually slung over your shoulder or behind you, makes you an easier target. Handbags should be held close to your body in front of you, and backpacks should be slung over both shoulders on your back. Be sure to fasten any closures on the bag.
If possible, walk with a group of people and avoid poorly lit streets, shortcuts, and narrow alleys.
Keep a low profile and avoid public displays of wealth. Do not carry large sums of cash or wear expensive, flashy jewelry.
Do not place your handbag or purse on the passenger’s seat while driving; place any valuables on the floor or somewhere less accessible from the windows.
Do not leave handbags or mobile phones on top of the table at cafes, restaurants, or bars.
Do not leave your belongings unattended, even for a moment.
Do not place valuables (e.g. money, mobile phones, etc.) in locations on your person or in your bag which are easily accessible by thieves.
Opportunistic criminals will usually search for easy targets. Maintain situational awareness and try to make yourself a difficult target.