2ndhand gadgets, such as electronic devices, computer equipment, cameras, headphones, and mobile phones, are easily accessible in the streets of cities across India.
However, as the economy slows down, the availability of these items has come under increasing pressure as a result of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other stringent taxes.
In 2016, there were more than 1.9 lakh incidents of illegal possession of electronic devices and mobile phone devices, according to the data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring India (CMI).
According to a report released in March this year by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there were 9,735 reported cases of thefts of electronic goods from consumers between January 1 and April 15, 2018, with a peak of 6,000 incidents in January, the data showed.
The report also found that almost 6 lakh of the total cases of theft from consumers were reported to the NCPRB.
This represents nearly 70 per cent of all the reported cases.
In Delhi, the figure was 3,947 incidents in 2017, followed by Mumbai at 2,827, Kolkata at 1,921, and Chennai at 1:23, the report said.
However, the police said they have seen a rise in the number of people committing theft from second hand products, with about 3,000 people committing it from January to April this year, up from 1,600 last year.
According to police officials, the increase in thefts comes at a time when the economy is slowing down and many consumers are worried about their future, and they do not want to buy second hand items, as it is becoming harder to earn income.
While the crime of theft is relatively new to the Indian city, the use of such products is not new, said a senior police official.
“The issue is not restricted to just to electronics.
The misuse of second hand electronics, especially in the market, is on the rise.
In a small area in a few neighbourhoods, a person will sell such devices in exchange for Rs 2,000,” he said.
A few days ago, a man from a small village in the western district of Rajasthan, Jaini, was caught by a police team on the spot and asked to identify the person who sold him an iPhone, said another senior police officer.
“In this case, the person was arrested and taken to the local police station,” he added.