Lutyens’ Delhi takes its security very seriously, and every intrusion is approached as if it were an incursion in the Drass sector. But the agencies have been baffled by three major intrusions in recent times. Two were conducted by people with some kind of electric attraction.
Thieves dressed as civic workers stole a cable from the high security zone. Meanwhile, other thieves made off with light bulbs from a bungalow, leaving its occupant insecure in the dark.
Before that, thieves had raided a well-laden jackfruit tree in another residence. The police did track some footprints but lost the scent. Perhaps it was out of embarrassment, since the footprints may have been size four or less. Who but children would steal a jackfruit from a high security zone patrolled by people with automatic weapons?
But who will protect the protectors? The victim of the latest theft is a senior police officer who had a tyre nicked from his car parked in the high security zone. Now, Delhi used to be famed for the thieves of Chor Bazaar near the Red Fort, who specialised in stealing parts from your car in order to sell them back to you. But that great institution is a pale shadow of its former self, and has become an open-air mart for faux-antique gramophones, artificially aged furniture and other tawdry untruths. Deprived of their natural habitat, has this threatened specie of Delhi’s thieves migrated to the Lutyens’ bungalow zone? Forensic experts were called in to take footprints, but this may be of no use — remember the jackfruit heist? Instead, they should try following tread marks. Out in the cow belt, Azam Khan’s stolen buffaloes were traced by their hoof marks. Tracing a radial tyre should be easier.