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Nissan sedans remain the number one choice for car thieves and shopping malls and hospital carparks are their main hunting grounds, according to the Police Service.

 

For the first five months of the year as at May 6, 2017 there has been an increase in the number of vehicles stolen. A total of 289 vehicles were stolen this year while the comparable figure for last year was 232, representing a 20 per cent increase.

 

Speaking at yesterday’s weekly press briefing, at Police Administration Building, Sgt Christopher Swamber, of the Stolen Vehicles Unit, said the owners of malls and operators of hospitals have been advised to take certain measures to combat the theft of vehicles on their respective compounds.

Swamber said for 2016, 834 vehicles were stolen - 648 by way of larceny and 186 through robberies.

He said only about 30 per cent, or 250 vehicles, were recovered.

 

There were fewer cases of car jackings between January 1 and May 6, according to Swamber. Statistics revealed that there were 53 reported cases this year as opposed to 86 for the corresponding period in 2016, which represents a reduction of 38 per cent.

 

Of the 289 reported stolen this year, he said, 138 are Nissan vehicles which represent 40 per cent of the total.

 

“The Nissan Tiida, B-12, B-13, B-14, AD wagon and the Almera being a main vehicle of choice with the figures 29, 16, 31, 31, 15 and nine respectively,” Swamber said.

 

“The other types targeted are the Mitsubishi Lancer with 16 reported cases and the Mazda 323 ten reported cases and six cases of Hyundai H100 vans,” he said.

 

Swamber, however, admitted that although the Nissan Tiida is still a vehicle of choice for thieves, there was a reduction of 31 per cent from 42 per cent in 2016 to 29 per cent this year.

 

He said that there has been an increase in the theft of Nissan B-12 numbering 12 in 2016 compared to 16 in 2017, “an increase of 33 per cent.” With respect to the B-13’s 23 were stolen in 2016 as compared to 31 this year, “an increase of 35 per cent.”

 

Eight Nissan AD wagons were reported stolen 2016 compared to 15 this year, an increase 88 per cent.

 

Swamber believes that the unavailability of car parts for the Nissans B-12, B-13 and B-14 was the cause for thefts.

 

In so doing, Swamber said that they have started a drive by going after the people who receive stolen cars and have so far seen a decrease of people purchasing stolen parts.

 

With respect to robbery of vehicles — when a vehicle is taken at gunpoint or some other force by thieves — 23 vehicles were Nissans, representing 43 per cent of all vehicles taken by that method.

“Robbery of Toyota Hiluxs increased from seven 2016 to eight in 2017, Almera from four in 2016 to six in 2017 and B-15 from one in 2016 to three in 2017. The Nissan Tiida - a reduction of 71 per cent from 14 in 2016 to four in 2017,” Swamber said.

 

“The Northern Division recorded 111 vehicles collectively being stolen or taken away forcefully from the owners which represent 32 per cent of the total number in T&T. The Southern Division and Central recorded the 2nd and 3rd highest amount of 81 and 48 respectively,” he said.

 

Speaking with the T&T Guardian after the briefing, Swamber said that the Stolen Vehicles Unit, based in Port-of-Spain, needed more manpower and should also be expanded to other major police divisions, including Southern and Central.

 

(Source: Trinidad Guardian)

 

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Car thieves target malls, hospitals

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