Today I visited the cop station again after my September 13 incident of mobile phone theft. Actually I was there for police verification, which is a requirement for renewal of my passport.
The police verification process was very smooth and quick, the cops were very polite and helpful. I had taken all possible documents to prove my existence and proof of residence, which meant right from my birth certificate, current passport, Voter ID card, telephone, electricity, Gas connection and what have you... The verification process is quite good, they go through originals and collect copies of all the documents, and the same is verified by a senior official at the station. Overall I was quite impressed with the procedure and if followed properly in all cases, the chances of anti-social elements getting one can be minimised.
After completing the police verification process, I decided to use my trip to check on my theft case. I also needed to collect a copy of the FIR (First information report), basically some proof that they have possession of my phone. On enquiring, I was told that my case hand been allotted to a cop for investigation. He seemed like a nice guy (though overworked) and he gave me complete details of the progress of my case. But before starting off, he congratulated me for being brave (catching the criminals & handing them over to the cops). I explained to him that I was not doing anything with an intent to be brave or model citizen, It was just a spontaneous reaction from my side (something like defending myself), though in this case it was defending my pride. ‘How dare someone snatch my phone in the middle of the road & then walk away with it (ok, run away with it!), I just needed to catch him and nail him.’
He mentioned that they interrogated the two thoroughly to find out more about the gang. They did not get any information on the third guy, I had mentioned. Of the two, the guy who snatched my phone was a juvenile (he was 17 year old), he had claimed that as soon as he was caught, though nobody believed him at that time. This boy was released on bail and his partner was still in judicial custody, as he was not able to arrange the bail and required surety. According to the cop, my case will take anything between 2-4 years to reach its logical end. Also to my surprise it is not classified as a petty case, this was big time theft. Though I tried to tell him that this was an open and shut case as the thief was caught red-handed and he had confessed to his crime. He enlightened be about the Indian judicial system, which takes its own sweet time.
I also enquired as to how I could get possession of my phone, other than having to visit the magistrate with my lawyer & application requesting the same. He was kind enough help me with a couple of lawyer options, who might want to help to regain possession of my phone. So, I plan to give them a call and find out the charges for doing this exercise. If the resale value of the phone (which is 10 months old), is significantly higher than the lawyer charges plus the effort involved in making a personal visit to a remote court in Bombay, I will decide to hire them. Will be giving a constant update on my pursuit….. in the coming weeks…