Police has impounded over twenty (20) vehicles, two motorcycles and arrested 16 suspected vehicle thieves from Kampala, Mbale, Wakiso and Busia.
The public has hence been cautioned against leaving vehicles in insecure parking lots and urged to report cases as early as possible for faster tracking.
“After getting intelligence on the vehicle theft, we mounted an operation to crack down on the vice, we recovered twenty vehicles, two motorcycles and arrested 16people. On arresting the first four in Mbale Namakwekwe, we interrogated them and they led us to their other hubs where they operate form, where they hide the vehicles and from the different hubs we recovered more vehicles,” CID spokesperson Vincent Ssekate said.
“We arrested eight from Kampala Most of those in Kampala their hub is in Naluvule that where they stay and hide these vehicles.”
Sekate says the arrested group and others at large target vehicles in isolated and unsecure parking lots from where they pick vehicles driving them off to particular hubs where they are given facelifts changing every noticeable detail about the cars inclusive of the chassis number, number plates and even color sometimes.
“When these vehicles are stolen and they’ll be used in Kampala they change its face, within less than two hours they steal one enter into a garage and do face lift within two hours the vehicle will come back on the market and you will not even be able to identify it s your car.”
Many of the stolen vehicles quickly find their way across the borders to Kenya and Congo following a chained curtail with different people playing different roles. Some of the suspected car thieves are also hard-core criminals involving in other types of crime they commit against the people they steal from.
“There is also a group, which uses things like pangas to attack you at night, 70 percent of these victims are attacked at home, they take all electronics and ask for keys and they take phones so you don’t make communication,” Sekate said.
“There are cases where some even are women especially when they find you are alone in the house, like we had a case in Kanjansi.”
Police warns that most at risk vehicles are the easy Toyota series considering the high market for them such as Mark IIs, Rav 4s, Premios and Noah. The public is hence cautioned to park in secured areas and even install tracking devices besides earlier reports to police on car theft.
There are many drivers that have lost their cars to unknown people who drive them away many times using master keys or even by dragging car owners to give them the keys.
“For all impounded vehicles, the police form 28will be filled to ascertain owner detail and probably where they were stolen and we see how best we can hand them back to the owners.”
“Its is an organised gang and we are also looking for those that forge log books for transportation across borders.”