With no CCTV cameras and no security personnel to man the building, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's ward office in Vasanth Nagar was burgled last week. The offenders made away with birth, death and electoral records, and details of trade licences, leaving the health officials of BBMP, who work out of the Vasanth Nagar office, in a fix. Three computers and the hard drives attached to them were stolen. The merchandise was worth Rs 1.75 lakh, but officials say that the data in them is worth a lot more.
Speaking to TNM, senior health officer Renukamba at the Vasanth nagar ward office said that Dr K Sunitha, a medical officer in the office, filed a complaint with the High Grounds Police on December 17. She added that the burglary took place between the night of December 15 and the following Monday morning (December 17).
According to the complaint filed at the High Grounds Police Station, Sunitha locked the doors of the Vasanth Nagar ward office at the end of day and all officials went home. When she returned on Monday at 9.45 am, she realised that the door was open and all the files were on the floor. "The cupboards were open and everything was on the floor. We (workers) noticed that the computers, keyboards and CPUs were missing," Sunitha's complaint states.
Police say that if the miscreants meant to steal the equipment in order to sell it, then they would not have had left behind the printers. "It looks like they stole the hard drives for the information it contains. This can be used to generate fake birth certificates and forge trade licences. Election data was stolen and it has photos, names and addresses of people in the ward. This can be used to make money in may ways. They can create fake IDs, use the addresses to plan burglaries and so on. We have stepped up patrolling in the area," a police official said.
Police added that the ward office has no CCTV cameras and had no security guard either. However, Renukamba told TNM that CCTV cameras have now been installed and a security guard has now been deployed to man the building. The police are looking at CCTV cameras in the surrounding areas to identify the miscreants.