In an attempt to check chain snatching menace in the city, police have recently charged two of the accused under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
City's Mahim police have invoked MCOCA against history sheeters - Bada Sajid Shaikh and Alam Mansoori -who were arrested in December last year for chain snatching and are currently in judicial custody.
"The MCOCA has been invoked against the two a few days back after seeking permission from the Additional Police Commissioner. Now, we have also applied in the court for police custody of the two again," said Deputy Police Commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni.
"Perhaps, this is the first case where the MCOCA has been invoked against chain snatchers in the city," he added.
According to police, MCOCA can be applied if at least one member of the organised crime gang has two charge sheets registered against him.
Under the Act, the accused will not be able to get bail at least for one year.
With over two crore population in the metropolis, it is becoming increasingly difficult to curb chain snatching for the city's 40,000 policemen, police said.
"The chain snatchers repeat the offences once they come out on bail," said an officer.
Emphasising that preventive measures were the best way to combat such incidents, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh had a few months ago instructed his men to invoke the stringent Act against criminals involved in such cases.
Police officials have been asked to use the copies of previous charge sheets and dossiers, that are basic requirements for the Act.
According to police, 7,120 chain-snatching cases were reported in the city from January 2008 to December 2012. 640 cases of the 1,442 ones registered were solved in 2008, with detection rate being 44.38 per cent.
In 2009, of the 1,600 cases registered, police solved 47 per cent cases. The detection percentage in 2010 was 38.5 per cent (787 of 2,044 cases).