Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Police cripple luxury car theft ring

Police cripple luxury car theft ring
March 10, 2011KUALA LUMPUR, March 10 — Police arrested 11 men in the past two weeks for luxury car robberies and recovered eight such cars worth RM1 million, CID chief Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said.

The men, aged between 20 and 35, admitted to have carried out the robberies involving more than 10 luxury cars on highways in the Klang Valley since early this year, he said.

“Among the cars recovered are Toyota Alphard, BMW, Mitsubishi Airtrek, Honda Civic and Toyota Altis,” he told a news conference.

“Their modus operandi is to follow the targeted cars travelling on lonely stretches and ram them from the back,” he said.

Once the victims stopped their cars, these men would come out and threaten them before driving the cars away, leaving the victims by the roadside, he said.

Mohd Bakri said police also recovered weapons such as machetes, sticks and pistols believed to have been used to threaten the victims.

Police, through the operations codenamed “Ops Lejang Elite” were currently tracking down other members of the group, he said.

Meanwhile, he said, the Johor police crippled a similar syndicate using the same modus operandi with the arrest of five men.

Two cars were recovered in the operations, he said, adding that the syndicate also employed the tactics of threatening car owners who were about to enter their parked vehicles.

They would then seize the car keys and drive away in the victims’ cars, he said.

Meanwhile, Perlis police arrested six members of a syndicate involved in smuggling stolen luxury cars to a neighbouring country through Padang Besar and Bukit Kayu Hitam.

From these arrests, police managed to solve four car theft cases.

Mohd Bakri said there were about 100 such cases since 2009 with losses amounting to RM10 million.

Stolen luxury cars would be smuggled out while the “lesser” brands would be cannibalised and sold as spare parts, he added.

“We are looking into the possibility of the suspects having inside connection with workers in shipping companies who helped them smuggle these cars abroad,” he said, adding that investigations showed that some of the cars were smuggled to as far as Dubai and South Africa.

He also said syndicate members had also been posing as policemen and carrying road blocks and flagging down cars with the intention of stealing them.

He said cautioned the public to be wary of syndicates impersonating policemen, saying they should always ask to be shown the authority cards and be told their police numbers.

“For those whose cars are rammed from the rear, I advise them not to stop but drive to the nearest police stations,” he said. — Bernama

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