The profile of women criminals is changing with the times, from being involved in crimes of passion to thefts, cheating and even snatching.
What is common among these cases is that the accused women are either graduates or undergraduate students.
the case of women criminals is not new, as is evident from a number of recent cases where they meticulously planned and committed a host of crimes, including murder, with the help of men. The latest instance was reported in Ayanavaram a week ago in which a woman, Menaka, kidnapped her mother-in-law over a property dispute. Another recent example – this time a white collar crime – is the case in which a State Secretariat staff, G Pushpalatha (39), and her boyfriend were arrested for cheating a man of several lakhs on the promise of getting him a job. the car that they had bought using the money received from the victim was seized.
But young, educated women indulging in crimes such as thefts, cheating and snatchings is not common till now.
Valasaravakkam crime inspector Amudha, who arrested the engineer couple, said all that mattered for Nithya was to lead a luxurious life. “She has already been once caught stealing at her friend’s house in Porur and a complaint was lodged against her. However, considering her future, she was not arrested and let off after the stolen valuables were retrieved from her. But this time, we had the CCTV evidence of her entering the house with her boyfriend Karthikeyan,” said the inspector.
Interestingly, when the police checked her mobile phone conversations with Karthikeyan, they found she had discussed how CCTV cameras have become a headache and discussed ways not to get caught. Though Nithya grew up in her grandmother’s house as her father married another woman after her mother’s death, her family is well off, police said. “The fact that she did not think twice before indulging in crime shows how much she has gone away from the reality,” said the inspector.
In the case of Mohanapriya, Mambalam railway police said she wanted to be on the same standing as her classmates who hailed from well-off families. “She does not have a father, while her mother sells fish for a living. She seems to have developed a complex that she could not afford to dress up like her classmates, which led her to steal valuables,” said a railway police officer.
Her modus operandi was to offer to keep the belongings of passengers standing in the crowded trains and steal valuables before getting down. Mohanapriya bought a season pass to commute in the suburban train between Tambaram and Chennai Beach, and carried out thefts on weekends. “Her target was passengers boarding the train at Mambalam railway station carrying heavy luggage,” said the officer.
Swathi, who was arrested for chain snatching in Teynampet, was reportedly misled by her friend Raju, the co-accused, said inspector Vijayakumar, who arrested them. “She is from a well-to-do family and a good student. But she was at the wrong place at the wrong time with a wrong person,” he added. According to him, Swathi was not aware that Raju was going to snatch chain from a pedestrian and was later under the impression that she would not be caught.
Antisocial disorder in women often goes undetected
She cited substance abuse and flawed attitude as factors that lead to such problems. “But without a genetic tendency to antisocial personality, nobody ever does such criminal acts, irrespective of the gender,” she said.