For the year so far, the newly-formed Stolen Vehicle Investigation Unit of the Police Service has recovered 100 vehicles.
According to data from the unit, the vehicles were stolen from mainly in Central, East and West Trinidad area.
Last week Friday, officers of the unit which is based at the Arouca Police Station, arrested a man whom they described as the ‘Don” of the car stealing racket.
According to a police report, the unit recovered several vehicles last week that were reported stolen by their respective owners. This brought the total to approximately 100 vehicles which have been recovered in bushy areas and at what police have described as ‘well-outfitted garages’.
The report stated that for 2017, the type of stolen vehicles recovered consisted of B-12, B-13, B-14, B-15s, Almeras, Laurels, Tiidas, Elantras, Toyotas, Navarra Hilux, Mazdas and even a Range Rover.
According to the report, most of the vehicles were stolen from North Trinidad. The second largest was from East Trinidad in places such as Tunupuna, St Augustine and Arouca.
The members of the unit who retrieved the vehicles from garages and from abandoned tracks and dirt roads were: Inspector Robert Joseph, Cpl Joel Sifontes, PCs Valmiki Lalsingh, Joel Keer, Leon Paul and WPC Rhonda Reyes.
The report further noted that 40 percent of the stolen vehicles were repainted, chassis numbers defaced and the vehicles equipped with false registration plates. The report said investigations by the unit have led police to the conclusion that the purpose for which the vehicles were stolen as for the commission of a crime such as murders and robberies.
Approximately 75 persons have been arrested since January and are currently facing charges in the court.
According to the report, it appeared that car thieves were staking out vehicles at malls and major shopping districts. It also said many of the vehicles were stolen at gun-point.