Despite an increasing appetite for newer model cars and vans, there was a general decrease in the theft and larceny of cars for January-May, police confirmed this afternoon.
Speaking at this morning's police press briefing, Sgt Christopher Swamber of the police Stolen Vehicles Unit said there was a 27 per cent decrease in the number of vehicles stolen, with only 300 reported thefts this year, compared to 411 for the same period last year.
He said for the year, 43 people were arrested for vehicle robberies and larcenies and credited an increase in patrols and heightened awareness from various divisions for this.
Swamber said police have noticed an increasing trend in which newer model vehicles were the car of choice for bandits, particularly the Hyundai Tucson, the Nissan X-Trail and the Kia Sportage. He said while these cars came with warranties preventing owners from installing security systems, there were other ways they could protect their property.
"It is advised that owners should consider installing wireless GPS devices to avoid any problems with the dealers and the warranty. New car owners are therefore advised to return to the company and inform them of their desire to instal anti-theft devices to secure their vehicle during the warranty period."
He said while there was a decrease in thefts, it was too early to celebrate, and urged car owners to be more responsible with their cars and avoid using them as collateral for loans.
"You risk losing the vehicle for which you are still indebted to a recognised financial institution. Furthermore, do not leave your vehicles with strangers, as you can find that there are unscrupulous persons out there who will conduct unauthorised transactions with the vehicle," Swamber said.